Countryside at Hughenden
Whilst Hughenden Manor has stories to tell about its Victorian past, the tales in the surrounding countryside go back much further, some 65 million years ago when the chalk rock emerged from the sea and the rolling landscape began to be formed. Today’s hills, walks and woodlands are still evolving and every type of weather gives a different chapter to discover.
Take in the countryside
A wander through the woodlands and countryside sees the impact of the ever-changing seasons.
Hughenden estate waymarked walks
Our four colour-coded walks range from a gentle 1 mile to a 4 mile hike and begin from the visitor welcome kiosk. They are a great way to start exploring the estate and our cafe in the stableyard makes a good start or finish point. Hughenden’s codename during the war was Hillside for good reason, most walks will include a slope or two but the reward for climbing higher is a spectacular view. Download the walk map here or take a look at the walks section below for more information on the many routes to enjoy around the area.
The countryside around Hughenden features chalk grassland, managed farmland and acres of beech woodlands which means it is an area rich in wildlife, from red kites to rare butterflies.
Since the Second World War, the UK has lost around 80 per cent of rare grassland habitats. Monitoring the flowers, butterflies, moths and insects that make their homes here is an important part of our work and it means we can help to protect them and provide habitats and landscapes that let them thrive, reversing this decline.
Our team of countryside rangers is working every day to actively manage the woodlands and countryside, to maintain the walks and woodlands and to encourage the widest range of wildlife possible.
Ash dieback in the Chilterns
Ash dieback, caused by an airborne fungus, is devastating the historic trees and beautiful woodlands in our care in the Chilterns.
We will have to fell a record number of trees, some 6,000 this year, because of the impact the disease is having in the area. We're expecting to remove around 1,400 trees at Hughenden alone, at a cost of more than £100,000. Our rangers will begin carrying out the felling and maintenance work in November 2021 at Hughenden to ensure the safety of visitors.
Most of the trees affected are along the entrance driveway and path from the car park. What is now a lovely wooded glade walk down to the property, come the autumn, will look dramatically different, bare and open.
The rangers will leave the area to see what shoots up naturally in the cleared spaces and then begin to replace some of the trees with native species in the coming years.