The estate at Polesden Lacey
Polesden Lacey’s 1400 acre estate is a wonderfully diverse place to explore – from grazed fields to ancient woodland to beautiful viewpoints, there is always something to see.
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The estate lies within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), an area that spans the width of Surrey itself.
Ranmore Common, which makes up the majority of our estate, is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This designation is there to protect the wide variety of rare woodland birds and bats that can be found across the common.
There is always conservation work being carried out across the estate. In the summer of 2017, our rangers started a new project to restore 80 acres of the estate’s chalk grassland, one of the most species-rich habitats in the world. You can read about the project here.
During the winter, they will be carrying out woodland work such as holly clearance, ride widening and coppicing. Although holly is a native species it can quickly dominate woods forcing out other, less vigorous, species. The rangers’ work to clear areas of holly opens up the woodland floor for other species to grow and prevents holly swamping the common.
The estate is home to a large array of wildlife: you’ll find butterflies such as the Chalkhill Blue and Brown Argus around the areas of chalk grassland; 3 species of owl including little owls; roe deer; 10 species of bat; buzzards; purple emperor butterflies and marsh tits in our woodland and you may even come across common lizards on the heathland.
There are four way-marked routes around the estate, each in differing lengths and difficulty, but all with stunning views of the Surrey Hills. For detailed information about the routes, pick up a walks leaflet for £1 at visitor reception.
The estate team are currently working to make produce from the wood they cut down as part of their conservation work. In the summer, they make charcoal, and in the winter, firewood. They are also starting to produce chopping boards and other kitchenware to sell onsite and raise funds to continue with the essential conservation work they carry out throughout the year.