Size:

136.08 ha (336.25 acres)

Grid reference:

SU650418

Map reference:

Explorer 144

OS Landranger 185

Set in a rolling landscape of farmland, woods and hedgerows, Home Farm is one of the largest, native, woodland creation sites in southern England. A special place, it’s somewhere to hear the song of the skylark, to encounter various butterfly species and – if you’re lucky –to spot a barn owl over the meadows.

Features

  • Parking at site
  • Public access
  • Waymarked walk
  • Grassland
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Home Farm

Situated in the well-wooded countryside of north-east Hampshire, Home Farm is a 136 hectare 336 acre site midway between the towns of Alton and Basingstoke. The property is split into two parts by a minor road that runs from Burkham to Bentworth. A network of small woods and hedgerows link Home Farm to oak woodland at Preston Oak Hills and Herriard Common, a planted conifer wood.

Home Farm is 1km (0.5 miles) south of Burkham and, 3km (2 miles) north-west of the village of Bentworth, just west of the A339 Basingstoke Road.

The nearest station to Home Farm is at Alton which is about 9km (5.5 miles) south of the wood.

Visit National Rail for more information.

The nearest bus stop is in Bentworth, 2km (1 mile) to the south, along a minor road. Buses also serve the village of Lasham, which is 3.5km (2 miles) away.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Facilities and access

In all, there is a network of more than 13km (8 miles) of maintained permissive paths, including a waymarked circular path that can begin from either of the wood’s two car parks. RADAR key gates allow access for all abilities to each side of the site from the car parks.

Paths at Home Farm are mostly grassy and can be muddy when wet. Access to the wood is via kissing gates and there are benches along the main footpaths.

The meadows on both sides of the site have a small number of grazing cattle. Access is available through the meadows on the maintained paths.

There is also a public footpath that connects the north boundary of the west side of Home Farm to Bradley, a small village approximately 1km (0.6 miles) to the west of the wood.

The wood has two car parks, both of which are free. The main car park is at the southern end of Spain Lane, via either of two turnings on the west side of the A339, signposted for Burkham. It has room for around 24 cars.

A second, smaller car park is situated on the west side of an un-named road, approximately 1.5km (0.9 miles) north of the junction of Ashley Road and Drury Lane in Bentworth. It has room for around 10 cars.

The nearest public toilet is at Lady Place car park in Alton (GU34 1HD) which has disabled facilities. 

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

Home Farm’s range of bird species – both breeding birds and visitors – has increased in recent years. A number of owl and kestrel boxes have been installed since the Trust planted the wood and today kestrels are a regular sight, along with red kites, which are currently thriving in the region. Skylarks nest in the meadows and you will almost certainly hear their spectacular song if you visit on a sunny day in the summer.

Alongside birds, Home Farm’s biggest attraction is its butterflies. Species to look out for include marbled white, silver-washed fritillary, common blue and occasional visits from clouded yellows and painted ladies.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

Home Farm is a mix of open grassland and secondary woodland, including conifers. One section, known as Wigdell Copse, is ancient semi-natural woodland where oak and ash grow with an understorey of coppiced hazel.

Much of the secondary woodland was planted in the early 1990s with tree species such as oak, ash, beech, silver birch, field maple, whitebeam, wayfaring tree, and holly; with understorey of guelder rose, hawthorn, blackthorn, spindle, dogwood and hazel. Glades and wide rides were a feature of the planting plan and are still apparent, although natural regeneration is taking over.

Look out for:

Habitats

As scrub takes over open grassland areas, the process is being encouraged through managed under-grazing. Cattle are allowed to roam free on both sides of the site at any time. Home Farm also has areas of older secondary woodland. These include two areas of predominantly beech woodland and two of Norway spruce. The areas are all quite small and spread throughout the site.

During the early 1990s, sections of Home Farm’s grassland were sown with wildflower seed. Open grassland is now being managed to allow scrub areas to thrive, dominated by hawthorn alongside oak and blackthorn.

Explore:

About Home Farm

Home Farm was once part of various land estates until it came up for sale in 1965. The Home Farm area of the estate consisted of 136 hectares (336 acres) of farmland, copse and uncultivated land. A part of this predominantly arable farm was earmarked for landfill use, but local opposition and a substantial donation by Lord and Lady Sainsbury enabled us to buy the land in 1990 and remove the threat.

We went on to plant 67,000 trees. We chose a mix of species to reflect those growing in nearby woodland. Also, some areas close to mature woodland were fenced off to encourage natural regeneration.

In 2011, a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee project to plant six million trees across the UK was launched. To mark the occasion, the Princess Royal planted the first of the Jubilee Woods’ trees at Home Farm and wrote a personal letter of support that was buried in a time capsule.

Early purple orchids

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 Home Farm

If you're taking your pooch on a walk at Home Farm, please be mindful of ground-nesting birds and the free-roaming cattle.

Home Farm - Management plan

Download

Home Farm Management Plan

PDF  (169 KB)