London Wildlife Trust
One of our most valuable reserves in a superb area of chalk grassland, scrub and woodland, home to beautiful butterflies and swathes of orchids.
One of our most valuable reserves in a superb area of chalk grassland, scrub and woodland, it's home to beautiful butterflies and swathes of orchids.
Close to Down House - where Charles Darwin lived for much of his life - this 6.3 hectare area of chalk grassland, scrub and woodland is one of the Trust's most precious nature reserves.
Over 28 species of butterfly have been recorded here, including the increasingly rare small blue, which requires steep, thin-soiled sunny banks to thrive.
Wild thyme and yellow rattle are among the more unusual wildflowers - as well as swathes of orchids, which Darwin loved.
This area is a perfect place to spend a sunny day - a public footpath runs through the reserve linking to an excellent network of pleasant longer walks. The pubs of Downe village make a good place to stop for lunch.
To find out more about the reserve and how we manage it, read the management brief.
Habitats you'll see
Chalk grassland, scrub and woodland
Species you might spot
Take the public footpath from Milking Lane, Orpington.
Access for events and open days only, although the public footpath is open at all times.
To find out more about getting involved at the reserve, read page nine of the
Site of Metropolitan Importance
Nearby nature reserves
- Downe Bank
- 1 miles - Kent Wildlife Trust
- Saltbox Hill SSSI
- 1 miles - London Wildlife Trust
- Hutchinson's Bank, Chapel Bank & Threecorner Grove
- 2 miles - London Wildlife Trust