Ashford Hangers National Nature Reserve

Woodland of beech, ash and yew on steep chalk hillsides, with areas of chalk grassland and a treasure trove of rare plants. Panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

ashford hangers

About the site

Ashford Hangers is one of Hampshire's most beautiful woodland areas. The name "Little Switzerland" has been given to this part of Hampshire due to its fantastic scenery.

The rise and fall of the landscape and its silhouette on the skyline is made more impressive because most of the area is covered in trees, many of them magnificent beeches. The whole area of the East Hampshire Hangers is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The name 'hanger' comes from the Old English 'hangra' meaning a wooded slope. 


Ashford Hangers National Nature Reserve

The Hangers have important historical connections with the 18th century naturalist Gilbert White and the poet Edward Thomas. On Shoulder-of-Mutton Hill there is a plaque to the poet Edward Thomas as this is where he and his wife Helen lived before his death. London born, he loved the hills of Hampshire and it is hard not to share his "impassioned, almost trance-like delight in things natural."

Access to the Hangers by road is not easy, but there is a network of footpaths and tracks popular with walkers. The Hangers Way is a through route linking Petersfield, Selborne and Alton.

Contact us

Phone 01962 860948


Central Countryside Sites, Crabwood Depot, Sarum Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO22 5QS