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West Kent Golf Course

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

Small blue butterfly; wild thyme, yellow-rattle and orchids.

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!

 

Visit us

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

Magement brief.

 

Site status

Site of Metropolitan Importance


 

Species and habitats

Habitats
Grassland, Woodland

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
3 miles - London Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Milking Lane, Downe
Bromley
Greater London
BR6 7LB
Map reference
TQ428609
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Access for events and open days only, although the public footpath is open at all times.
Size
6.30 hectares
Access
Yes

Terrain can be difficult, please contact the Trust for access information.
Walking information
No wheelchair access.
Parking
Parking available in Downe Village, ten minutes' walk to reach site.
Dogs
Dogs allowed
Grazing animals
No
Reserve manager
London Wildlife Trust
Tel: 020 7261 0447
enquiries@wildlondon.org.uk

Downloads

Factsheets and guides for your visit