Our quest to explore sites protected by the National Trust continued last weekend with a visit to Abinger Roughs. Charles Darwin, the famous naturalist and geologist, walked on the Roughs while staying at Abinger Hall in the 1870s.
Located in Surrey, Abinger Roughs is a hidden area of woodland with ancient trees and grasslands. We’d not visited before so it was wonderful to spot a rabbit and a pheasant before we’d even entered the car park!
The woodland is full of ancient trees with some gnarled Oaks up to three hundred years old. It was the perfect place to blow away those cobwebs after a week indoors!
We saw an ancient Oak which at first glance looked like it had uprooted itself but it hadn’t. Part of its trunk was hollow but it remained strong – the shape of it’s branches made it a great tree for climbing. It was too big for POD but we saw another family having the best time there.
It had been incredibly wet for a few days so we stuck to the pathways, admired the views and took in those fabulous woodland smells. POD took the opportunity to jump in and out of many muddy puddles.
Our three year old adventurer also enjoyed running along ahead. The photograph below encapsulates everything we love about the countryside!
The strange look on POD’s face was the result of asking her if she’d seen an elephant. She had her back to me and asking that question was an attempt to get her to turn round. It worked but she was then on the lookout for the elephant!
Abinger Roughs provides a great habitat for birds including great and lesser spotted woodpeckers, nuthatch, tree creeper and the wood warbler. We heard many a bird but saw very few – no doubt staying away from our rather excitable toddler!
We were so busy enjoying our walk, we completely missed the granite memorial for Samuel Wilberforce, the Bishop of Winchester. Known as ‘Soapy Sam’, Wilberforce was thrown from his horse in 1873 and the memorial marks the spot where he fell.
We did see one of the WW2 pill boxes. These formed a stop line during the war to protect London from invasion. We must have a look at these and nearby Netley Park.
There’s also a natural play area at Abinger Roughs which will be a great place for POD to play once it’s dry. It’s a lovely area to have a picnic too – Daddy was delighted at the thought. Or perhaps he was thinking about our roast lunch!