Wye Downs

Introduction

Wye Downs

An internationally important nature reserve with large areas of high quality chalk downland and other related habitats.

Key habitats:

Chalk downland, meadows, scrub, woodland

Ownership/Management:

Natural England, Imperial College (small section)

Size:

134 ha

Designations:

National Nature Reserve
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Special Area of Conservation

Facilities available at this site

  • Parking
  • Disabled Access
  • Waymarked Trail
  • Interpretation Panels
  • Education Pack

About the Site

Wye Downs NNR covers 134 hectares of dramatic chalk downland, woodland and scrub grassland. The Reserve’s inspiring landscape has some outstanding features, such as the Devil’s Kneading Trough, one of several coombes (steep-sided dry valleys) found in the area. The tops of the chalk hills offer breathtaking views that are some of the best in Kent.

The extensive chalk grassland is one of the best examples of this important habitat in the UK. It is covered in wildflowers and supports several rare plant species, including rare and beautiful orchids such as the late and early spider orchids. In turn, the variety of plant life supports a vast amount of invertebrates, including scarce butterfly species such as the chalkhill blue and the Adonis blue, which have secured the site’s European protection.

 

Visiting

By car

From the A28 between Ashford and Canterbury, take the turning for Wye. Go over the level crossing and into the village. Drive right through the village, leaving via Scotton Street, which then becomes Coldharbour Lane. Drive uphill, for about a mile, then you will see car parks first on your right and then on your left for the NNR.

By train

Nearest rail station – Wye (2.25 miles)

By bus

Route number 1 from Ashford stops in Wye village.

By bike

National Cycle Route 18 passes through Wye village.

Transport Links to this site

  • Bike
  • Train
  • Bus