National Trust Update on Vision for Ashridge Estate

Monument Drive at Ashridge Estate

The National Trust is inviting members of the public to the second of its public engagement events at Ashridge Estate, to share an update on its plans to protect the future of the estate for the long-term.

The 2,000 hectare (5,000) estate sits within the Chilterns National Landscape (formerly Chilterns AONB) and is mostly covered by the Chiltern’s Beechwood Special Area of Conservation (SAC)[1]. In 2021 it was estimated that 1.7 million people visited the estate, mostly coming to the visitor centre area at the top of Monument Drive which lies at the heart of the SAC. This large volume and concentration of visitors is causing damage to the fragile and protected landscape[2] and the National Trust needs to act to help secure its future.

In September last year, the National Trust held its first public engagement event at Ashridge, introducing the Protecting Our Roots project, its long-term transformational vision to safeguard the future of the estate.

Paul Miller, General Manager at Ashridge Estate said; ‘Ashridge Estate is an incredibly special landscape – there are few places in the country with such variety of habitats and rich biodiversity, but sadly the rare and protected landscape is under threat. With more than 30,000 new homes due to be built in the local area over the next 10 years, we could see upwards of an extra 200,000 visitors to Ashridge each year. Change is needed and we need to act now.

‘At the heart of our plan is an ambition to move the concentration of visitors away from the most sensitive parts of the estate. We’ve been working closely with local authorities and a range of specialists to look for the best ways to do this, whilst continuing to provide an excellent experience for the visitors who enjoy spending time in these beautiful surroundings.

‘Over 700 people attended our first public engagement event in September 2023. It was great to hear feedback on our initial ideas. We’ve been working hard to develop our plans since then and we look forward to sharing updates on the next phase of the project with everyone who loves Ashridge.’

The public engagement event takes place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May, from 11am-4pm in Meadley’s Meadow behind the visitor centre at Ashridge Estate. Find out more at

[1] A European designation which protects the ancient beech forest, semi-natural dry grassland and scrub.

[2] An ecological report published in 2022 by Dacorum Borough Council highlighted significant and widespread damage to the SAC. Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation (