An area of ancient woodland and grassland, spiked with common orchids
A butterfly spotter's paradise, this expanse of dry chalk valley is also a great place to find orchids, rare grasses and blankets of bluebells.
Separated by Featherbed Lane, this large 30 hectare nature reserve covers an extensive area of a dry chalk valley in south Croydon.
The steep grassland slope of Hutchinson's Bank hosts wonderfully diverse butterflies, plantlife and birds. Pyramidal orchid, common spotted orchid and man orchid are amongst the flora, with grasses including kidney vetch and the nationally scarce greater yellow-rattle.
Over a hundred species of moth have been recorded here and, in a good year, 28 species of butterfly can be seen, including small blue and dark green fritillary.
Following the chalk walk around Hutchinson's Bank brings you to Chapel Bank. This is an area of ancient woodland, scrub and chalk grassland, spiked with orchids including common twayblade and white helleborine.
Threecorner Grove is found in between the two banks and is a small stand of ancient woodland of oak, wild cherry and hazel, with moschatel, wild garlic and carpets of bluebell in spring.
To find out more about the reserve and how we manage it, read the management brief.
Habitats you'll see
Chalk grasslands, ancient woodland and scrub
Species you might spot
Small blue and dark green fritillary butterflies; common spotted and man orchids, common twayblade, white helleborine orchids, kidney vetch, greater yellow-rattle grasses, and bluebells.
If you spot these or any other species, please submit your wildlife sightings to Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL) to help build a picture of London's nature!
There are entrances off North Downs Road, Thorpe Close, Featherbed Lane, or Farleigh Dean Crescent in Croydon.
The footpath off North Downs Road is only a short walk (10 mins) from New Addington Tramlink stop.
Follow the tarmac footpath just to the left of the recycling centre, walk down and then turn left onto a narrow path through woodland.
There is a metal kissing gate at the reserve entrance and the footpath then continues southwards along the top of the reserve.
Further along there are kissing gates and steps into paddocks to reach other parts of the reserve.
There is limited parking space at Farleigh Dean Crescent. To reach this entrance on foot continue down the tarmac footpath off North Downs Road (from New Addington Tramlink stop).
At the bottom, turn left at Featherbed Lane and then left again into Farleigh Dean Crescent, continuing through the gate into the reserve.
Alternatively, walk from Gravel Hill Tramlink stop (45 mins walk).
Open at all times
To find out more about getting involved at the reserve, read page 11 of the management brief.
Site of Metropolitan Importance; Local Nature Reserve
Species and habitats