42.70 ha (105.51 acres)

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Explorer 172
OS Landranger 166

Just a stone’s throw from busy Watford lies a haven of trees, walks and wildlife - the perfect escape from hectic modern life.

Brimming with wildlife and historical features, Harrocks Wood is a designated Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) with gorgeous ground flora, lots of walking routes and links to nearby Watford. It’s well worth a visit.


  • Parking at site
  • Parking nearby
  • Public access
  • Autumn colour
  • Spring flowers
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Harrocks Wood

Harrocks Wood is located between Watford and Rickmansworth, to the south of the M25 and is linked via a series of footpaths to four other sites: Whippendell Wood (managed by the local authority), Merlin's Wood, Dell Wood and Newland’s Spring (managed by the Woodland Trust). So you can enjoy five contrasting sites in just one visit.

From the M25, exit at Junction 19 onto the A411 towards Watford. Take the third right onto Grove Mill Lane followed by a left at the junction, onto Fir Tree Hill. Take the next left onto Rousebarn Lane. Harrocks Wood is on the right.

The mainline and underground station (Metropolitan Line) at Croxley Green is 3.2km (2 miles) to the south of the woods via public footpaths or Rousebarn Lane.

Visit National Rail for more information.

There is an infrequent bus service which stops outside the Clarendon Arms pub, approximately 150 metres from the north-eastern entrance to the woodland.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Facilities and access

The site is gently undulating with a substantial network of well-maintained paths which, although generally dry, can get muddy during wet weather. The site can be accessed via kissing-gates at numerous points along Rousebarn Lane or from the surrounding farmland.

There are two free car parks on site, located on Rousebarn Lane.

There are public toilets in Cassiobury Park, approximately 2.5km (1.5 miles) from Harrocks Wood. There are also public toilets in the Town Hall underpass in Watford, around 4km (2.5 miles) from the site via Whippendell Woods and Cassiobury Park.

Wildlife and habitats


Wander around the Harrocks Wood complex and you’re sure to spot some interesting wildlife. Keep a watchful eye out for rabbits as they hop across the woodland floor, and listen in the evening for the hoot of the tawny owl. Great spotted, lesser spotted and green woodpeckers also call the wood home, along with badgers, bats and deer.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

The ground flora of Harrocks Wood is a particular attraction for visitors, with fantastic spring displays of bluebell, celandine and primrose. Later in the year you can see speedwell and campion, along with the more unusual coralroot bittercress. Newland’s Spring  Wood and Dell Wood also have carpets of dog’s mercury – a species which is indicative of ancient woodland.

Look out for:


Much of Harrocks Wood is Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW). The entire site is protected by a Tree Preservation Order and has been designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) due to its historical and floral interest.

Early purple orchid with blurred background

A lasting legacy

This wood is just one of many to have been protected by gifts in wills, securing it for generations to come. Your legacy gift could also make a real difference to woods, trees and wildlife.

Learn what your gift could mean

Things to do at Harrocks Wood

Combined with the adjacent Whippendell Wood, Harrocks Wood is an attractive destination for walkers. A network of permissive paths connects the many woodlands that make up Harrocks Wood, and an ancient path known as Finches Avenue also runs through it, testament to the many people who have lived and worked in this area over the years.

So, why not grab your walking boots and get exploring?


Harrocks Wood Management Plan

PDF  (332 KB)