Larks Hill is a 16.5 acre (6.7 hectare) public open space situated off Harvest Ride in Warfield. The site was adopted by Bracknell Forest Council in 1995 as part of the open space provision for the Quelm Park housing area.
Larks Hill was named due to the presence of skylarks and other farmland birds on the site. It now forms an important countryside link between the town and rural parishes, with fine views over the surrounding countryside.
Larks Hill is featured in the Great Places for Circular Walks booklet.
The site is a naturally regenerated grassland surrounded by a recently established ditch and hedge system, and contains young field trees and an orchard of around 100 apple, pear and plum trees.
The following species from the Bracknell Biodiversity Action Plan have been found at the site, illustrating its importance as a green space on the edge of Bracknell's built-up area:
- barn owl
- wild service tree
Larks Hill contains two grazing paddocks where cows graze between July and October. This avoids the majority of the nesting season and the cows are moved elsewhere before the site is overgrazed, leaving suitable ground cover for the birds. The spring barley compartment provides an agricultural habitat of value to the key farmland songbirds, including skylarks and wintering flocks of buntings and finches. A colourful show of the traditional annual flora of arable farmland is also produced, including corn marigold, corncockle, corn chamomile and cornflower.
During the bird breeding season (March to July), members of the public are asked to keep dogs on leads at Larks Hill.
Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG)
Larks Hill is part of the Cut Countryside Corridor, which is a group of public open spaces currently undergoing enhancement works as a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG). This is to create an enjoyable natural environment for recreation, away from the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area.
How to get there
Larks Hill car park, off Harvest Ride, Warfield (grid reference: SU 87052 70812).
Popular with local residents, dog-walkers and horse-riders, Larks Hill is open to all members of the public and a tarmac car park with 20 bays is available at the site. Six further pedestrian access points lead onto Larks Hill's hoggin paths which are predominantly suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs (although some may become soft in wet weather).
One of a series of three accessible rural routes around Bracknell begins in the Larks Hill car park. This leaflet is available from the walking page.