Surrey is one of the most wooded counties in England, with more than one fifth of the county being covered in woodland. This means plenty of opportunities to explore flora and fauna, and take a big breath of fresh air in the middle of nature. If you have plans to visit Foxhills, make sure you take some time to enjoy the local wildlife on a walk or cycle ride, using our guide to Surrey nature as a basis for things to look out for.
Wildlife at Foxhills
Foxhills Club & Resort is situated in a 400 acre estate, which includes a wide array of amenities such as two generously sized golf courses. While staying with us, enjoy the grounds by taking in a fresh morning walk, or an after lunch stroll. As well as the golf courses, our property boasts glorious woodland areas in which you could spot some of Surrey’s 43 different butterfly species, or the 623 kinds of moths.
You’ll also see vast lawns, imposing oak trees, fir trees, and crawling ivy as well as other shrubs, daffodils and wild flowers. Other little creatures to spot include foxes, badgers, and hedgehogs, not to mention the wonderful variety of birds. Keep an eye out for woodpeckers, the grey wagtail, bullfinches and wigeons among others.
Wildlife Parks in Surrey
There are three national nature reserves in Surrey, and 42 local nature reserves to explore. This means that Surrey’s nature is never far away.
Leaving Foxhills, close by you’ll find Chobham Common – a biological site of Special Scientific Interest. Just over 650 hectares in size, the common is a ten minute drive, or one hour walk from the Foxhills estate. The heathland has a history dating back to the Stone Age, as it was first created by prehistoric farmers. Today, a walk at Chobham Common offers the chance to see a variety of flora and fauna:
- 100 different types of birds
- 300 species of flowers, including native orchids in summer
- 22 kinds of dragonfly
- Reptiles including adders, grass snakes, newts and lizards
Around the same distance from Foxhills is the popular Virginia Water Lake and Park, which is actually a part of the larger, Windsor Great Park. Virginia Water has proved to be a popular spot for couples and families of all ages for many years, offering a tranquil setting in which visitors can enjoy views of the lake, and the surrounding Surrey Wildlife.
Among bird watchers, Virginia Water is known as being the most reliable site in the country to see Mandarin Duck. You could also spot:
- Other bird species including Great Cormorants, Wagtails, and various owls
- Mammals such as deer, foxes, and bats
- Insects including bees, butterflies and moths
- A huge array of trees and flowers including oak, birch, and willow
Windsor Great Park
The entire Windsor Great Park totals around 4,800 acres, and comprises Virginia Water, the Savill Garden, The Valley Gardens, and The Long Walk and Deer Park. Each area of the park has something to offer when it comes to wildlife in Surrey.
Savill Garden – Dating back to the 1930s, Savill Garden is a favourite among botanists and horticulturalists. With each season new flora flourishes, including both exotic and national species.
The Valley Gardens - Here you’ll find exotic azaleas, magnolias, and rhododendron, and the well known ‘Punch Bowl’ in May – a stunning bright and colourful mass of flowers surrounded by tall trees and a peaceful atmosphere.
The Long Walk & Deer Park - The Long Walk is the three mile long, tree-lined avenue between Windsor Castle and the copper horse statue in the Great Park. It’s a truly idyllic setting in which most visitors spot some of the 500 Red Deer who inhabit the neighbouring Deer Park.
Surrey Hills Walks
The Surrey Hills is the name for a huge expanse of land (over 420km squared) which is considered an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It covers around 25% of the county, and remains to be one of the most popular sites in the south for discovering nature. There is lots of choice when it comes to Surrey Hills Walks, but some of the closest ones to Foxhills are around 30 minutes’ drive away:
- Lovelace Bridges
- Dapdune Wharf & The River Wey
- Newlands Corner
- Polesden Lacey
Each of these walks offer some stunning scenery and the best of British countryside. They boast historic monuments as well as all sorts of Surrey wildlife. Think centuries old bridges and horse tracks, picturesque reeds and dragonfly on the River Wey, incredible views of seemingly endless meadows, and stunning gardens filled with roses and yellow aconites.
Wildlife in Surrey will leave even those who don’t generally enjoy leisure walking with a sense of delight. Exploring nature in this part of the country is extremely rewarding, as one of the most biodiverse counties in England. Next time you stay at Foxhills remember to keep an eye out for all the different species to be seen, and spend time walking in the local area to discover even more.