Local places to visit in Dacorum
Dacorum borough is largely rural with many areas of special designation. 60% of the borough is Green Belt and a third of the countryside is within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Much of the Chilterns Beechwoods Special Areas of Conservation lies in Dacorum, as do three chalk rivers.
As with all our ‘local places to visit’ these are free and open all year round.
The National Trust took over the Ashridge Estate in 1926 and today, at 2,000 hectares, it is the largest property in the Trust’s portfolio. There are extensive woodlands, particularly oak and beech, chalk downlands, and lush meadows. A herd of fallow deer can be seen rutting each autumn, and in the spring there are carpets of bluebells. Over 80 miles of footpaths and bridleways are available for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, and some paths are wheelchair accessible.
The four Tring Reservoirs lie in the flat clay vale beyond the Chilterns scarp, to the north west of Tring. They were built to supply water to the adjacent canal system which was completed in the early 19th century. The reservoirs are a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a nature reserve. They are an important bird habitat with 250 species recorded, including bittern, and osprey on passage. There are several hides along the footpaths running around the reservoirs, and there is much to see and discover at any time of year.
Dacorum has a number of ‘commons’ – usually ancient grazing land now maintained for the benefit of the community. Chipperfield Common has become a woodland with several interesting features. These include five ponds including Apostles Pond, so called from the 12 trees that used to surround it, and two Bronze Age burial mounds. There is a network of bridleways and footpaths, one of which is wheelchair accessible.