The following sites have been submitted by Warlingham Parish Council to the Boundary Review as nominations for extensions to the currently designated AONB boundaries.  Our sincere thanks to local resident Lisa Dunning for her considerable contribution.

A selection of photographs of the nominated areas can be seen in the galleries section of this web site.

CREWES VALLEY AND WOOD

Continuing the ancient woodland of adjacent Kings Wood without pause, with tranquil views across the valley from footpath and Crewes Lane trackways, this area is strongly featured in Warlingham Countryside Walks (July 2011) and is the extensive breathing space between Limpsfield Road B269 and Old Farleigh and Farleigh Roads. Fanning out from All Saints Church, dating from 13th century with its 200+ trees including 2 ancient yews [2,400 and 800 years old respectively] and five rare Japanese cedars, this area defines the East of Warlingham with its distinctive tree-rich wild and quiet spaces, frequented by walkers.
It is both a connective space between the ancient woodlands of Kings Wood and Little Park and Great Park Woods of Chelsham and Farleigh with its own ancient church of St Mary the Virgin [1080], and a wild place with peace and birdsong and the odd sighting of roe deer.
Walkers often pause for photographs of the tranquil view and soundscape from the chalk and flint rich paths that cross the curved valley bottom. An open valley with strong light, it attracts skylarks and is part of the territory of red kites, buzzards and kestrels often seen quartering and hunting. An aesthetic combination of open valley, wooded edges, old hedgerows including trees make this a long- valued area [named after John de Cruys, 1241] and a well-used walking area. There are few signs of habitation, just a barn and glimpses of valleyside individual housing, blending in with their flint walls through trees and a peace and quiet at all times with a sense of great distance from habitation.
This valley was walked by the renowned ‘Walker Miles’ [Edmund Seyfang Taylor 1853-1908] who documented this ramble in his writings as ‘the lowland Wainwright’.

KENNEL FARM/ GREENHILL GRASSLANDS

This mound of green with nesting skylarks provides a green horizon for local people. The big sky above this open space is used by hang gliders and the adjacent Lane and road of Sunny Bank was the home of local naturalist Arthur Beadall [1872-1957] a self-taught labouring man who wrote ‘Nature Notes of Warlingham and Chelsham’ in 1931. The area looks across to local landmarks including the preserved water and clock tower of Warlingham Park psychiatirc hospital, now a parkland rich Great Park estate, and to the wooded areas of Chelsham. Once on this flint footpath crossed area, the big sky with red kites and skylarks provides a sense of being open and expansive. The feeling is of being on a hilltop, even, as one child described, a coastal cliff with just huge sky everywhere. Skylarks do nest in the scrubby grassland and the boundary lane provides a bird rich stroll with abundant insect life in the long established and often smoking manure and compost heaps at the Chelsham Road end. The other edge is an often muddy footway with noisy birdlife in the hedgerow and an unbroken continuation into Daniels Lane and oak dominated Little Park and Great Park Woods.

COMMON LAND

Though spanning the B269 Limpsfield Road on the southern exit from Warlingham, this area provides essential connective wildness, a place that immediately signals to those exiting the village ‘countryside’. A tree rich grassland with significant treescape, it connects the wildnesses of wooded Chelsham with the lesser known wooded upper reaches of Halliloo Valley. Rogers Lane and High Lane provide immediate peace with a bird rich setting. Bridle paths edge this area. Warlingham Parish Council provide benches for rest and in November 2021, a Queen’s Jubilee copse of 33 wild cherry, silver birch and rowan saplings, to offset the removal of 5 roadside ash. The copse-side meadow to the north of High Lane was unmown in 2021, creating an immediate wildflower grassland rich in pollinators. The trees in the established copse naturally fall and provide essential deadwood habitat. It has an immediate sense of wildness, left to nature, with circles of leaf fall on grassland providing the best of mulch.
This area is the most direct continuation of the Surrey Hills, an ancient trackway with toll house, it formed the droving route for cattle to the market of south Croydon until 1931.
The area has significant treescape including poplar and oak. The Spaghetti Tree celebrates the landmark horse chestnut in front of this long established junction-located hostelry and the garden al fresco experience provides a distinctive dining destination nestled in a surround of common land trees.
The wooded areas at the top of High Lane provide a lesser known treescape, leading down and alongside the Halliloo Valley of Woldingham where woodpeckers are frequently heard. The natural terrain of owls, this is a quietly left area of natural beauty and significance.

BUTTERFLY WALK

An essential steep sided area, this wooded track and environs runs above Bug Hill connecting the Halliloo Valley with Blanchmans Farm Nature Reserve and is directly adjacent to the existing Surrey Hills AONB. In January 2022, wildlife experts confirm the highly likely presence of dormice in the Blanchman’s Farm Nature Reserve and this area is certainly the wooded hedge-rich wild corridor that could provide safe passage for this and other rare mammals. Featured in Warlingham Countryside Walks [July 2011], the sometimes dense and steep sided area provides varying areas of light and dark, perfect for woodland butterflies, hence the change of name from Clayton Road, and a strong sense of being left to nature. Bug Hill is a little used connective lane to the Woldingham valley and the woods provide exposed chalk and flint habitat from upturned trees left after the great storm of 1987. A recent walk identified the presence of Iris foetidissima [or stinking iris] . Located over the valley, the walk provides an appealing pattern of landscape and scenic views across the Surrey Hills.
This area has long been notable. Local landscape artist Charles Langton Lockton [1836-1932] commemorated for example, views of the nearby Tydcombe farmscape and there are many references to the hillside flora in Arthur Beadall’s ‘Nature Notes in Warlingham and Chelsham’, 1931.

BLANCHMANS FARM NATURE RESERVE

Blanchman’s Farm Local Nature Reserve is a natural green oasis in the heart of Warlingham village.
The Nature Reserve is a haven of different habitats for native plants and animals. There are two summer meadows [one named after Arthur Beadall], a pond, a central wooded area, hazel coppice, a newly planted orchard and fruit-rich hedgerows. It was established in 1991 and the site gained official Local Nature Reserve status in 2006 and operates with a significant cohort of local volunteers to a Management Plan which develops and enhances the site in specific ways including the planting of fruit trees, hedge and boundary refurbishment, pond clearance and coppicing. Management is overseen by the Blanchman’s Farm Management Committee and the Downlands Countryside Management Project.
Now well established with dragonflies and excellent waters edge habitat, the pond also references the distinctive cultural heritage feature of Warlingham being a place rich in ponds for drovers and their cattle, a natural resting place. Now only Willy Pit Pond at the top of Bug Hill and adjacent to School Common remains from that era.
A frequently used area with several entrances, the recent identification [January 2022] of highly probable dormice presence is a tribute to the careful husbandry of the last 16 years. There is a locally iconic ‘Fairy Tree’ where children place items in the cavity of the tall oak stump and woodpeckers nest in a higher natural bole. Planting of wildflower patches with yellow rattle and the careful creation of a butterfly corridor are among recent works and events include bug hunts for children [August 2021] .

This provides more than an oasis of calm with red kite and buzzard circling the fields and fox dens on the wide bramble rich edges, it is also the natural boundary of an area directly linking to the dense steep woods of Butterfly Walk off Bug Hill and on to the Halliloo valley and Surrey Hills. As the Management Plan 2020-25 states ‘The site forms an important finger of linked countryside into the heart of Warlingham from the Halliloo valley’ .