There’s lots to do and even more to see in the Hurtwood.

Take family, friends, a picnic, a camera, binoculars, the dog, a good book or just yourself and a bit of time There are splendid views from Pitch Hill, Holmbury Hill and Winterfold ridge – on a good day you really can see the sea.

Read these short FAQ to help enjoy your visit.

My school, walking, riding, running, biking organisation would like to hold an event on the Hurtwood. Who do we contact?

If you would like to run an event on the Hurtwood, permission is needed due to increasing visitor numbers and the need to avoid multiple events running together.

An application form can be downloaded here

Why don’t you allow fires?

The majority of the Hurtwood lies on a peaty soil which allows fires to spread underground. This means that even though you may have been careful and put your fire out, it can still be alight underground and spread without your knowing.

Who is responsible for litter and fly tip?

Friends of the Hurtwood are responsible for litter and fly tip in car parks and other parts of the Hurtwood.  This costs time and money to remove, especially if asbestos is involved.  If safe to do so, please take a note of car details/numbers of anyone seen dumping on the Hurtwood and inform the Ranger.

Why don’t you put height barriers on the car parks to stop fly tippers?

This would not allow horseboxes to use the car parks

Why don’t you provide litter bins?

Litter bins tend to create more rubbish, especially when wild animals disperse it. We would like everyone to take their rubbish home with them.

I want to help keep the Hurtwood a wonderful place to visit; how can I help?

– Use the Hurtwood respectfully; follow the Country Code

– Donate to Friends of the Hurtwood

-Encourage your friends and other users to donate too

– Join other volunteers promoting Friends of the Hurtwood in car park blitzes and local events

Please contact the Ranger or any of the Management Committee if you’d  like to volunteer.

Why do you encourage mountain bikers to ride on the Hurtwood?

We don’t encourage or discourage bikers, but we do encourage them to behave responsibly when they’re here. We’re pioneering a new approach –  closely monitored at local and national levels – to manage biker activity and bring it under better control.

This involves engaging bikers, and encouraging them to help manage conflict with other users as well as wear and tear they’ve caused on trails. Many regular bikers donate and have also become Friends of the Hurtwood.

What’s common land?

The Hurtwood is Common land, but common land doesn’t mean it’s public land, nor that anyone can do anything on it. Historically local people (commoners) had recognised rights of usage, such as cutting wood and turf or grazing sheep.

Why are some trees cut down?

The Hurtwood is actively managed by landowners as forestry estate. There is a continuous programme of thinning and felling trees;  coppiced trees are cut on rotation and will re-grow.

Some trees and scrub are also cut to protect ancient monuments and open up views.

Areas of significant damage by heavy plant on the main trails will be reinstated by the landowners’ contractors when work is finished.

We advise all visitors to heed site notices and to be especially careful when using any trails near forestry operations as heavy plant and machinery may be in use.

Why are the ponds cloudy?

All our ponds are man-made and lined with clay. Due to convection currents continually moving the clay around, this makes the water look cloudy.

Why don’t you allow camping?

There is youth hostel which allows camping on its ground right next to the Hurtwood.

Why don’t you charge for car parking?

This would cause too many vehicles to park in local villages, due to the lack of roadside parking restrictions.

When is the best time to visit?

Like any beauty spot,  you’ll see more people at the weekends and school holidays, but even then there are still many quiet areas. It’s still possible to walk or ride on the Hurtwood at any time and not see anyone at all.

view from pitch hill
Follow the links below to find out more things to do

Consider becoming a Friend of the Hurtwood