- Other Woodland reserves
Milford Green & Coxhill Green
Milton Heath & The Nower
Broadstreet & Backside Commons (inc. Rydes Hill Common)
Burners Heath & Swallows Pond
Fir Tree Copse
Graeme Hendrey Wood
Hill Park Estate
Vann Lake including Candy's Copse
St Martha's Hill
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Chinthurst Hill is a quiet and peaceful spot with fine views from its summit. Here you'll find a stone folly built in the 1930’s, which is now a Grade II listed building. Even from the base of this impressive structure you'll encounter wonderful views across Guildford, the Chantries, St Martha's Hill and the North Downs.
Incredibly, man has probably used these hillside woodlands since the Middle Stone Age. Woodland areas were carefully managed to keep them productive, and these particular woodlands have actually been managed for hundreds of years under a system called ‘Coppice with Standards’.
Due to the extensive management of the woodland you'll find many different species of tree on the hill, including oak, sweet chestnut, hazel and rowan.
Surrey Wildlife Trust has been coppicing the hazel, little by little, over the years. A tree is coppiced by cutting at ground level. New shoots soon sprout from the stump, and grow into a dense crop of poles. Traditionally these had a very wide range of uses, including fencing and thatching spars.
Coppicing is also good for wildlife. The wood develops a patchwork of different habitats through the coppicing process. Certain species prefer different ages of coppice. In recently cut open areas, butterflies feed on the carpets of woodland flowers, while the shrubby growth of older bushes provides cover for birds and animals.
A fine display of bluebells can be seen on Chinthurst Hill in the spring. Watch out for roe deer and, if you are walking at dusk in the summer, you may see bats hunting for insects on the wing.
A large area of larch was felled here a decade ago and has been replaced by more traditional native species. Try to identify the trees by their leaves, bark, seeds or, in winter, by their twigs.
To access the Hill, use the car park on the west side of the B2128, north of Wonersh (Wonersh Common Road), and not the private drive from Chinthurst Lane.
A visitor guide and self-guided trail leaflet is available for this reserve. Download your copy here.
Ranger Notes, Spring 2014
Designation : LNR
Grid reference : TQ 014 462
Habitat : Woodland