Want to visit some of Britain’s most wildlife rich places? You don’t have to travel miles out of London. It’s all here on your doorstep! This autumn, London Wildlife Trust is encouraging people to get out and Walk the Chalk to enjoy Bromley and Croydon’s amazing chalk landscapes - London’s own bit of the North Downs - and home to an incredible variety of species. For extra inspiration, the Trust is launching its film From Thorn to Orchid, produced and sponsored by Viasat Broadcasting UK, part of Modern Times Group, celebrating why south London’s chalk grasslands are so special for wildlife and why the local community is working so hard to look after them.
Watch From Thorn to Orchid to discover the amazing species found on chalk grassland – one of the rarest habitats in London - from pyramidal orchid and kidney vetch to the scarce small blue butterfly. And find out why conservation volunteering is such a good way to spend your free time.
Where to Walk the Chalk
- Saltbox Hill, a Site of Special Scientific Interest steadily being restored to its former floral glory
- Chapel Bank, a broad valley of chalk woodland and grassland, rich in orchids
- Hutchinson’s Bank, a steep mosaic of grassland and scrub, supporting a flurry of butterflies
- Threecorner Grove, a woodland of tall ash, cherry and lime, shading bluebell and anemone
Petra Sovic Davies from London Wildlife Trust says, ‘We hope as many people as possible will come out and Walk the Chalk to experience the wonders of these amazing free wildlife sites. Autumn is a brilliant time to see colourful berries including hawthorn, dog rose, blackcurrants and privet or winter migrant birds like fieldfare and redwing - and if you’re lucky you could even spot hovering kestrel, like I did the other day. We also hope some people will take their interest a step further and get involved in the practical conservation of these special sites.’
To watch From Thorn to Orchid, find out more about where to Walk the Chalk and for directions to sites go to www.wildlondon.org.uk. To find out more about volunteering to conserve this precious habitat contact Petra at email@example.com.