Things to see and do at Witley and Milford Commons
The dryish, sandy soil of Witley and Milford Commons makes it an ideal place to explore in all weathers. You can follow the marked routes, or simply go where you fancy and enjoy the woods, grasslands and heathland areas. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy this special place.
Walking at Witley and Milford Commons
Whether you want to run, jog, power-walk or simply slow down and stroll mindfully, the paths and tracks offer a variety of outdoor environments and views. Follow the pink trail markers to go round the heathland hike covering both commons and a full three miles, but feel free to take a short cut if you prefer. Pick up a leaflet at the information board in the car park.
Natural play trail
The wild about Witley natural play trail provides plenty of opportunities for children to practise climbing, balancing and being intrepid adventurers. It’s suitable for children of mixed ages and abilities and was designed with the help of pupils from local schools, working with National Trust staff and volunteers.
Inspired by nature and the history of the commons, it was funded by the generous support of a local donor.
Some elements of the trail were designed around the wildlife you might see on the commons, such as the hop logs, which reflect the movement of animals and birds, from the tiny jumps of the robin, right up to the bounding leaps of the roe deer.
Other features of the trail remind us of the military history of the commons, where soldiers would have clambered over A-frames and crawled through tunnels as part of their daily training exercises.
The timber used for the trail was all sourced on site using sustainable methods.
Hide and seek
The open woodlands of Witley and Milford Commons are great places to play hide and seek, with lots of bracken, undergrowth and fallen trees to hide behind. This is a great way to burn off some excess energy.
Things to try with trees
The woods on Witley Common are fantastic leafy playgrounds in their own right. Do some den building, but also get the family stuck into these activities:
Climb a tree: scramble up and see how high you can go.
Go foraging: collect nuts, acorns and berries and see how many you can identify. Remember, no matter how tasty they look, don’t eat anything unless you’re sure it’s safe.
Measure the girth: put your arms around a tree trunk and see how big it is. How many people have to join in to reach all around? Which is the fattest tree in the wood?
Hunt for bugs: examine the bark and see what creepy-crawlies are there. What sort of tree has the most?
Try bark rubbing: take some paper and crayons. Hold the paper against the bark and rub to reveal the pattern. Which tree makes the most interesting pattern?
Learn more about leading First World War poet Wilfred Owen’s connection with Witley Common, Surrey, and its role in wartime history.
Discover the fascinating and contentious history of commons, natural green spaces that were once used by the community before many were enclosed by private landowners.
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