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Escape and explore Petts Wood and Hawkwood

Visitors walking dogs in the woodland at Blickling, Norfolk
Take a stroll through Petts Wood and Hawkwood | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Roam around Petts Wood and Hawkwood, where among the trees you can leave the hustle and bustle of daily life behind. It’s a great place whether you’re alone with your thoughts, walking your dog, enjoying a family outing or discovering wildlife.

The trees of Petts Wood

With its rich variety of native trees, Petts Wood has 150 acres of ancient, semi-natural woodland. Here you’ll discover native species such as oak, beech, ash, alder and hazel trees growing alongside planted species like Scots pine, larch and sweet chestnut.

Hawkwood, on the other hand, is mainly grazed pasture, with small blocks of woodland. Cows and sheep graze the open fields, and you’ll see wide vistas opening to the south.

Sunlight filtering through beech leaves in the garden at Lacock Abbey
Light flooding through beech leaves at Petts Wood | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Green space for the city

Being only 13 miles from the centre of London, the estate is an important ‘green lung’ for the city.

This remaining area of countryside allows you to imagine how the landscape of rural Chislehurst looked before the arrival of the railways and suburban sprawl, while still enjoying it as an area where wildlife is protected and can thrive.

Wildlife in Petts Wood and Hawkwood

There’s an abundance of fungi in the wood, with over 400 species recorded since 1976, and an average of 130 species recorded each year.

A cluster of deep purple amethyst deceiver fungi emerging from some fallen leaves at Sherringham Park in Norfolk
Spot some unusual fungi at Hawkwood | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

Walking through the estate, you can hear the distinctive call of the chiffchaff and the hammering of woodpeckers, and you’ll see siskins and tits in the woodland canopy. Kingfishers can occasionally be seen in Pond Wood or along the Kyd Brook and if you have a keen eye, you might see a hobby searching for its insect prey.

A family walk along a path through the woodland around Penshaw Monument; the dappled sunlight shines down through the leaves

Discover more at Petts Wood and Hawkwood

Find out how to get to Petts Wood and Hawkwood, the things to see and do and more.

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