Feb 11 2021

Viewpoints from your doorstep: 1. Chantry Wood

Welcome to the last in a series of pictorial guides showcasing Warden Mike’s top ten favourite viewpoints, all selected from our ‘Greenspace on your doorstep’ directory.

Number 1: Chantry Wood in Surrey

With viewpoints from three separate locations, Chantry Wood is Top of the Pops!!

Photograph of the view of Guildford Cathedral through the trees

A thunderclap from the heavens above commanded the trees to part, thus revealing a celestial gateway to Guildford Cathedral on the far horizon. The bench is conveniently placed for contemplating the meaning of life, the universe, and everything! Click on the image for the full size version.

Photograph of Guildford Cathedral

The construction of the Neo-Gothic/Art Deco styled Guildford Cathedral began in 1936 but halted for WWII. In 1952, the fund raising ‘Buy-a Brick’ campaign was launched, and by 1961, the Cathedral’s year of consecration, more than 200,000 people had paid 2s 6d (£6 in today’s money) to sign their name on a brick – including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip!

Photograph of the view from Chantry Wood to Pewley Down

Here we see Pewley Downs, a Local Nature Reserve and a botanically rich chalk grassland where 26 species of butterflies and 119 of bees, wasps and ants have been recorded. It is an ideal location for participating in this summer’s Big Butterfly Count.

Illustration showing chalk downland, including a wheatear and a lapwing

If you do, you’re very likely to see male and female chalk hill blue butterflies, as depicted in flight (on the right) in my favourite chalk grassland painting of all time – from The Shell Guide to Wildlife (1959).

Photograph of the view from Chantry Wood towards the south

Here is the third spectacular view. Chantry Wood is our most elevated ‘Greenspace on your doorstep’, with a highest point of 150m above sea-level.

Photograph of poppies in a field on the slopes of Chantry Wood

And now, the end is near, and so we face the final curtain – and the of end my 10-part ‘Viewpoints from your doorstep’ series – with the contemplation of life, the universe, and everything; and a calming, vermillion view of poppies on the slopes of Chantry Wood.

For directions, information and more photographs, go to the Chantry Wood entry in ‘Greenspace on your doorstep’.

Warden Mike
Picture credits: Guildford Cathedral © John East, Poppies by Hazel Williams

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