Chobham Place Woods is a 9 hectare site managed by Surrey Heath and became common land in 1981. Prior to that it formed part of the Chobham Manor estate as grounds attached to Chobham Place House. It is a semi-natural woodland consisting of stands of mature Scots Pine with areas of mixed broad-leaved woodland containing species such as Oak, Silver Birch, Rowan, Beech and Sweet Chestnut. There is also a pond that can be viewed from the easy access trail and this helps add to the wide diversity of animal species on the site. There is an interpretation board with further information on Chobham Place Woods just through the gateposts by the car park.
Use this map to follow the trail on the numbered points below:
Disabled Access / Access For All Trail
At this point you can see the main drive leading to Chobham Place House. An inner avenue of Beech trees and an outer avenue of Scots Pine flank the route. The original trees are very old, having been planted in 1702 to mark the ascension of Queen Anne to the throne, so they have been interplanted with young trees that will eventually replace them and maintain the avenue. Some of the trees are dead but have been left standing as a habitat for fungi and insects and to provide nesting holes and a valuable source of food for birds such as Woodpeckers and Nuthatches.
Surrounded by a protective screen of vegetation you will find a rough stone mounted on a concrete base. This commemorates a service that was held on this spot in 1853 for the troops encamped on Chobham Common prior to their departure for the Crimea. Sir Edward Le Marchant erected the stone in their memory in 1952.
This area of woodland consists mainly of Sweet Chestnut and Scots Pine with some Birch and Beech. You are likely to see and hear many woodland birds such as Nuthatches, Goldcrests, Robins, and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers and keep an eye out for Stock Doves in the treetops. If you look closely you may also see low-lying banks, some forming enclosures on the woodland floor. It is not certain whether these are a result of former woodland management on the estate or the military training that was conducted here during the Crimean War.
This pond originally provided water to Chobham Place House. It had gradually become filled in naturally by silt, leaves and other material, so in 1997 it was dredged and some local marginal and sub-aquatic plants were put in to supplement natural regeneration. The pond is a source of drinking water for local wildlife such as deer, and is home to many mini-beasts such as brightly-coloured dragonflies and damselflies.
Here you can see four large specimens of the Coastal Redwood. These magnificent trees, originally from North America and probably planted in the 19th century, provide roosting posts for birds such as the Tawny Owl.
To one side of the path the large tree you can see is a Purple Beech. In addition to differing from common Beech trees in leaf colour this specimen is also unusual in that the large scar running round the trunk base suggests that it was grafted onto a common beech rootstock. To the other side of the path there is a large area of woodland composed mainly of what is termed Coppice, where large trees have been felled and re-growth has occurred from the stumps. After several years the new stems would be cut and allowed to re-grow, thereby providing a renewable source of timber. This area was re-coppiced in the early 90s to continue this traditional woodland management technique and to benefit the birds, mammals and mini-beasts associated with coppice habitats.
The laying of this hard surface easy access trail has been possible due to the generous grant aiding by SITA Environmental Trust. We hope you enjoy the trail.