Lying just outside the M25 (junction 18) and located centrally in the Parish, Chorleywood Common is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of Chorleywood. Covering 80 hectares (the equivalent of 110 football pitches) it comprises acid, neutral and chalk grassland, wooded areas and seven ponds. The Common is a County Heritage Site, a Conservation Area and a Local Nature Reserve rich in fauna and flora, fungi, birds and wildlife. Rabbits, squirrels, foxes, badgers, muntjac deer, voles, wood mice and slowworms can be found on the Common. Copies of our environmental surveys are available here.
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The Common is owned by Chorleywood Parish Council but is freely accessible to the public for air and exercise on foot, and subject to reasonable byelaws. It is a popular spot for ramblers, dog walkers, joggers, family activities and for outdoor games. Horse-riding is permitted on the permissive horse track, which is clearly marked with signs, forming a circular route around the Common.
Christchurch, the parish church and a local landmark, stands facing the Common on the A404. The original church was built in 1845. When this building became dilapidated it was demolished, with the exception of the tower and was rebuilt and consecrated in 1870. It has a cedar wood tower of unusual design on the flint built west tower.
The Common is a wonderful natural playground where children can play and discover the wonders that nature has to offer. Recreation for the young (and the young at heart) can be found on the Nature Trail which consists of two Wildwood Den play structures, wood sculptures and other structures to stimulate imaginative play. More traditional recreation is available at the golf club and cricket club; the golf club was founded in 1890 and is the oldest in Hertfordshire and the cricket club was established in the mid nineteenth century.
The Common is maintained by our team of Parish Rangers who undertake regular litter picks, educational events including a forest school, pond dipping and nature walks. They carry out tree and pond maintenance, grass cutting when and where appropriate to comply with the requirements of our Higher Level Stewardship and Management Plan.
Prior to the 1950s, when grazing was permitted, the Common was a very open landscape. Since grazing ceased however, trees were able to establish themselves and thrive into the copses we see today. Conservation grazing was reintroduced in 2014 and a small herd of cows can be seen on the Common in the spring and late summer.