Car park upgrade starts at Hindhead
1 March 2021 – Work starts today on major improvements to parking facilities at one of Haslemere’s main visitor attractions – the Devil’s Punch Bowl.
Drawing on funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development Government and a donation from the Black Down and Hindhead Supporters Group, the National Trust is replacing the existing overflow car park with a 30-bay extension to the main car park.
Work will continue through spring and into summer, severely limiting access by car during the project.
“It’s an unusual request from the National Trust, but we are actually urging people not to come by car,” says Natalie Savage, NT Visitor Operations & Experience Manager, Hindhead Properties and Leith Hill.
“We will be open as usual – subject to the Covid-19 restrictions – and we look forward to welcoming visitors who can get here by other means. Unfortunately, there is no alternative parking in the immediate vicinity.”
Since the diversion of the A3 with the opening of the Hindhead tunnel in 2011, The Devil’s Punch Bowl has seen a dramatic increase in visitor numbers. At the end of 2017 the Trust began improvements to toilets, catering and information facilities.
This year’s project includes the re-landscaping the existing car park, with both old and new areas getting a gravel surface to improve drainage and bays demarcated by logs. Disabled bays will have a denser surface material.
Some large trees will be removed to make way for the new car park area. The Trust says some of the trees are species alien to the heathland habitat. It says as part of the wider project it will be replanting native species on the site.
The existing overflow car park will mostly be regrassed, providing additional picnic and play space.
Also on the plan is an accessible path on the alignment of the old A3. This will provide an all-season circular trail on a relatively flat surface. The path is already part-complete, but progress has been affected by wet weather. The Trust hopes to have the path open by May.
Read more on the project online.