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Ancient trees, rolling chalk downlands and lush meadows
Ashridge Estate is a 2,000 hectare (5,000 acres) area of the Chiltern Hills with beech and oak woodlands, commons and chalk downlands. These very different landscapes each support a rich variety of wildlife, including carpets of bluebells in spring, rare butterflies in summer and the fallow deer that rut in autumn.
The best way to explore the Ashridge Estate is on foot or by bike. Miles of footpaths and bridleways give you plenty of space to explore, and if you drop into the visitor centre we’ll be happy to share our favourite routes with you. We also have mobility scooters if you aren't able to explore under your own steam.
A working estate
We took on the Ashridge Estate in 1926 and we manage the landscape as a working estate, continuing 3,000 years of tradition. We use livestock to help look after the diverse habitats on the downlands and our foresters fell timber to ensure the health of the woodland. Keep an eye out for both two and four legged conservation team members during your visit, our human ones will be happy to answer questions on our work.
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Into the Woods at Ashridge
Ashridge was the inspiration for the Enchanted Forest in the recent Disney blockbuster Maleficent. Now Ashridge works its magic again in Disney’s forthcoming live-action fairytale musical, Into the Woods. In cinemas from January 2015, our ancient woodland has been transformed (with some computer graphics trickery) into the home of some of the Brothers Grimm’s most famous characters.