Hare Hill Open Space, Row Town is a hidden gem of an open space and creates an open area of countryside between the dense residential areas of Ottershaw to the west and Row Town to the east. The 13.9 hectares (34.3 acres) cover a diverse array of habitats, from open grassland to scrub/wood interface, even aged secondary woodland, and magnificent oaks, the eldest are thought to be close to 400 years old. There is a pond/wet area known as Soggy Bottom located in the central part of the site. Please keep dogs out of the water to benefit the creatures that make this patch their home.
Hare Hill is managed as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace in order to create an enjoyable natural environment for recreation, away from the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.
The oak benches surrounding the spring-fed water body are the perfect place to perch, watching and listening for wildlife. A colourful interpretation panel located on the edge of the water body highlights things to look out for. There are stretches of hard surfaced paths in the wetter areas of Hare Hill, but please choose suitable footwear to explore all areas of the site.
How to get to Hare Hill Open Space
There is no public car parking available at this site, but on-street parking is possible in surrounding residential roads, for example Fletcher Close,KT16 0JT - visit the what3words website to view the roadway, and Howards Lane, KT15 1ET.
By foot or bike
Hare Hill Open Space can be accessed on foot at numerous locations. The most northerly access point is at the junction of Hare Hill, Spinney Hill and Murray Road, opposite Stonebridge Motor Company. On the western boundary, access is via Fletcher Close or along 'Dark Alley', a passageway bordered by hornbeams on either side, just south of the junction of Spratts Lane and Spratts Alley. At the east of the site, access from Howards Lane is via Public Rights of Way, FP24 and FP27. Hare Hill Open Space is located approximately 1km to the east of National Cycle Network Route 223 which follows the path alongside the A320.
By public transport
The closest rail station is Addlestone (2.5km). Please visit the Surrey County Council - Bus timetables for up-to-date details on bus routes and services.
Nature and wildlife
Of interest to any beetle fans is the possibility of spotting a Welsh Longhorn on this site. This handsome little red beetle is rare enough to earn an entry on the European Red List of Saproxylic Beetles. Look out for tell-tale 'frass', a dusting that resembles sawdust on deadwood close to Soggy Bottom which is a sign of beetle burrowing. There's a chance of spotting a slow worm in the grassland area. Despite appearances, the harmless slow worm is a legless lizard, not a worm or a snake. A genuine snake that can occasionally be spotted here is the grass snake. This green & yellow beauty is up to 1.5 metres long, and fortunately, completely harmless.
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