QE COUNTRY PARK HAMPSHIRE
Queen Elizabeth Country Park is Hampshire's largest country park, sited on 2,000 acres of open access woodland and downland within the East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Located on the A3 just south of Petersfield, QE Country Park is approximately 15 miles north of Portsmouth.
In 1928 the Forestry Commission purchased the land at Holt and War Down, when it was no longer used for grazing, and used the area to plant trees for timber production. In 1966 Hampshire County Council purchased Butser Hill with the aim of creating a new Country Park, Queen Elizabeth Country Park was formally opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 1976.
Most of Butser Hill is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and since 1998 as a National Nature Reserve and is the second largest area of calcareous grassland in Hampshire. The forest blocks on Holt Down and War Down are extensive, covering over 500 hectares. Within this area are a variety of habitats ranging from ancient woodland and hazel coppice to beech and conifer plantations.
The beech and conifer plantations, remain a commercial enterprise producing timber for the paper pulp and fencing markets.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park has 20 miles of trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
There are three walking trails, which are clearly marked and signposted.
Short woodland trail 3km (1.9 miles)
Long woodland trail 8km (5 miles)
Downland trail 2.7km (1.7 miles)
There is also a horse riding trail of 9.7 km (6 miles) through the forest.
There are two bike trails which are clearly marked.
Novice mountain - bike trail 6 km (3.7 miles)
Advanced mountain - bike trail 5 km (3.1 miles)
QE COUNTRY PARK DETAILS:
Address: Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Gravel Hill, Horndean, Hampshire PO8 0QE
Telephone: 02392 595040
Visitor Centre, Shop and Cafe
10am - 5.30pm, 1 Mar to 31 Oct
10am - 4.30pm, 1 Nov to 22 Dec