The countryside at Runnymede and Ankerwycke

Gatekeeper butterfly resting on a thistle flower at Runnymede, Surrey.

Relax in the wildlife-rich countryside of Runnymede and Ankerwycke in Surrey. Take in the history or just enjoy the scenery as you walk amongst the trees, wildflowers and a landscape that helped change history.

 

Glorious meadows

Thanks to traditional practices such as hay-making and cattle grazing, our glorious meadows haven't changed much since King John's day. Look closely and you'll find them packed with a dazzling array of wildflowers; providing food and shelter for thousands of minibeasts.
 

Wetlands

The lush wetlands of Langhams ponds and the banks of the River Thames are fantastic places to see wildlife all year round. Look out for stunning rare wetland plants, dazzling insects, and the huge variety of birds who raise families at Runnymede each year.
 

Cooper Hill Woods

With carpets of flowers in the spring, sunny glades in the summer, and fabulous fungi in the autumn, the wooded slopes of Coopers Hill are wonderful to visit in any season. Leave the woods at the top of Coopers Hill for magnificent views across the river and meadows below.
 

Historic parkland

Majestic oak trees line the gentle slopes, whilst cattle graze below. Some of these trees are 400 years old, and their twisted and rotten stems host a wealth of invertebrates. They are also a rich feeding ground for animals like woodpeckers and bats.
 

Wood anemones

Wood anemones are spring flowers with pretty, delicate, paper like petals. They are considered indicators of ancient woodland, meaning that the woodland is at least 400 years old.
 

Coopers Hill slopes

Keep an eye out for hawthorns or maybush on the grassy slopes. They are a good habitat for birds, and insects such as the rare hawthorn jewel beetle. The slopes have probably looked like this for centuries.
 

Walk the board walk

These reeds at Langham Ponds were immortalised in Kipling's poem 'What say the reeds of Runnymede'. They're a great site for birds like reed bunting and reed warbler.