Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces (SANGs)

Ottershaw Chase

Ottershaw Chase SANG

This secluded area of woodland is tucked behind Christ Church, on the A320, Guildford Road, Ottershaw. Pedestrian access only is possible from two locations on or just off Cross Lane. The site is entirely covered by broad leaved woodland with several magnificent specimen trees. During World War 2 the area was used to store army tanks; rubble and the remains of a brick built emergency water supply system from this time are still present. This 11-hectare (27 acre) site was once owned by a local timber merchant. They planned to clear fell the wood, but when the company went bankrupt in the early 1990s, Runnymede Borough Council bought the land to protect the landscape and wildlife whilst allowing public access and enjoyment.

Ottershaw Chase is managed as a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace in order to create an enjoyable natural environment for recreation, away from the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.


A waymarked trail takes you around the woodlands from one pedestrian access point to the other. The main entrance to the site is off the driveway past two former lodges and through an ornate gateway at the south-west end of Coach Road. The central broad path was a former driveway leading from Guildford Road to Tulk House and the old tarmac surface makes for an accessible route. Beyond the central path, surface conditions are more challenging with exposed tree roots and wetter sections during periods of inclement weather.

How to get to Ottershaw Chase

By car

There is no public parking available on this site. Please use the car park for Timber Hill Open Space on the A320, Guildford Road, Ottershaw, nearest postcode KT16 0PB - visit the what3words website to view the entrance. Free parking and dedicated disabled parking bays are available. There is a 2.1-metre height restrictor at the car park entrance. Follow the fingerpost signs across the main road to reach Ottershaw Chase, a 3 to 4-minute walk away.

By foot and bike

Ottershaw Chase is located to the south of Ottershaw. The woods are less than 200 metres from National Cycle Network Route 223 which follows the path alongside the A320. Walk along Cross Lane immediately to the north of the graveyard at Christ Church and turn left down Coach Road. The entrance is straight ahead through a large kissing gate.

By public transport

The closest rail stations are either Chertsey (3.7km) or Addlestone (4km). Please visit the Surrey County Council - Bus timetables for up-to- date details on bus routes and services.

Nature and wildlife

Of interest on the site is the number of mature to veteran status trees and standing and fallen deadwood. This fallen dead wood is of great value particularly to invertebrates and fungi and is a habitat that is becoming increasingly uncommon in the wider countryside. Surveys have revealed over 20 species of insects directly associated with wood decay can be found at Ottershaw Chase, including one Red Data Book Species, Diaperis boleti, a beetle which lives on fungal fruit bodies. Somewhat easier to spot are deer. You may see where deer have grazed on tender new leaves and shoots.