This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.

Nestled in undulating hills, step back to a timeless rural life

Drovers is a hidden estate nestling in the undulating hills and valleys of the South Downs. Here you can step back to a timeless rural life, set amidst shady woodland and rolling ancient pastures, punctuated by traditional flint cottages and barns. It provides an insight into traditional management which has formed the working landscape that we see today.

The highest point, Hat Hill, gives panoramic views of the striking Goodwood racecourse, Singleton village and the Roman city of Chichester. Hedgerows and shaws (a small wood or thicket) link many of the oak and beech woodlands with hazel coppice and plantation forestry.

Drovers has long been a sporting estate going back to when a Medieval deer park dominated the landscape. The estate includes a disused railway tunnel, a superb hibernating roost for bats, supporting 12 of the United Kingdom’s 17 species, notably Barbestelle and Mouse-eared. This tapestry of farmland, grassland, woods and hedgerows together with the tunnel and stream provides an excellent diversity of habitats.

Historical happenings

Bats now live in the railway tunnels © National Trust

Bats now live in the railway tunnels

There was once a large house and deer park here but the house had been completely destroyed by 1815. Many of the farm buildings and barns retain local building styles and haven’t changed much over time. The former railway line between Chichester and Midhurst opened in 1881, with the railway and station passing through Drover’s estate and Singleton village. The station was built in a grand design to accommodate visitors to Goodwood racecourse but the line eventually closed. The tunnels are now protected for bat roosts.

Go batty

The old railway tunnel at Drovers Estate, great for roosting bats

The old railway tunnel is a hot spot for bat enthusiasts. It is used as a wintering hibernaculum for a number of bat species including brown long-eared, whiskered, greater horseshoe and Brandt’s bats.

Wonderful walks

Drover’s is all about being on a less trodden path with a mix of habitats and a blend of open views and woodland trails. You can enjoy circular walks or just explore freely, the choice is yours.


Woolbeding countryside is quietly tucked away in the tranquil Rother Valley. With its wide horizons and intimate secluded places, this huge estate has an extraordinary blend of habitats.