Bluebell walk at Standen
A moderate walk that takes in the whole Standen estate and wider countryside. This walk takes you through Rockinghill Wood where you can see the incredible displays of bluebells and spring flowers.
Please note normal admission applies to enter the property and car park
Dogs welcomed, but must be kept on leads when near livestock and along the drive from the car park.
Standen car park, grid ref: TQ391356
Walk out of Standen through the entrance gate and turn right, at the Rockinghill Wood sign, approximately 15 yards from the gate. Go through the gate into the field and continue straight ahead down the hill, then left on a well trodden path.
Jack and Tommy field
Jack and Tommy field is an area of ancient meadow named after two horses that used to graze here. After a period of neglect it was almost covered in scrub. It was cleared by volunteers who started the restoration. Gradually many species of meadow flowers are returning and with them many butterfly and other insect species.
Leave the field via a wooden kissing gate and go straight ahead into Rockinghill Wood.
Rockinghill Wood returned as part of the Standen estate in 2001 and it is being managed by a group of Vounteers using traditional and sustainable coppicing and green woodworking methods. The produce from the woods is used around the gardens as pea sticks and bean poles, and sold as charcoal and firewood. In the spring there is a carpet of bluebells and many animals and plant species live and visit, including dragonflies, deer and buzzards.
Go straight ahead to the boardwalk and walk along it. There is an old storage pond to your right.
Jenkin's Shaw is a piece of ancient woodland now owned by Busses Farm. The land that includes Standen Farm was one of the farms Mr Beale purchased in 1890 to enable him to build Standen house. The farm and surrounding farmland was then sold before the National Trust was given the estate in 1972 and is now back in private hands.
At the end of the boardwalk, at a memorial seat, you may either turn downhill to the right, to a junction of paths after about 125 yards, or venture further straight ahead (adding just less than a quarter of a mile to the total length of the walk). If you go straight ahead you will enter an area which feels more remote, but the path is clear ahead. It turns right at another memorial seat, and then right again, at the corner of a large pond. You then follow the winding path through the wood to join the short route mentioned above.
These fields are used by Busses farm to graze their small herd of beef cattle. The herd includes two ponies and a ram, who thinks he is a cow. You can get a view of Standen beyond the treetops.
At the three way fingerpost near marker (H) turn left by the fingerpost (go straight ahead if you have come down the shorter route).
As you approach Hollybush wood there are fine views of Standen House and down towards Weirwood Reservoir which is a well-known haven for birdlife. There are paths from Standen to take you there.
The path winds by a boardwalk into a gully. After a short while take the path to the right down steep steps and over two bridges. You will catch sight of Standen Farm across the field. Cross a plank bridge and bear right to continue to follow the clear path. You will see a vineyard in a field to your right, before you cross one more bridge and come to a ‘T’ junction of paths by a pond.
Hollybush wood in an ancient ghyll woodland, a relic of "Holmwood" one of Sussex ancient forests. Due to its steep sided streams (ghylls) machinery has never been able to work the timber so it remains undisturbed. On one edge of the wood an area used by Romans for iron smelting has been found. Today the wood is managed by coppicing to assist ecological bio-diversity.
Turn right and after 20 yards go through a metal kissing gate into the field
Return to Standen
There are views across the fields of St Hill Manor which has historic links to the Standen estate, but is now privately owned. As you walk back down the drive you pass 3 workers cottages (now privately owned) that were built by the Beales when the main house was constructed. Recently the rocks on the drive have been cleared of lots of vegetation to expose the wonderful rock face that inspired the Beale family to buy the land and use them as an imposing entrance to the property.
Standen car park, grid ref: TQ391356
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