Back to reserve map

Hurley Chalk Pit

A sliver of beech woodland and chalk grassland, Hurley Chalk Pit is visited by 15 species of butterfly and home to wild orchids.

Varied habitats

Bee orchidA small reserve, Hurley Chalk Pit encompases a varied range of habitats, including woodland, scrub, grassland and mixed hedgerows. Excavated more than 150 years ago, its chalk cliffs and screen contain flints. The warm and sheltered pit attracts 15 species of butterfly, including common blues and gatekeepers. The woodland is dominated by beech, but also includes oak, ash, field maple, silver birch, hazel coppice and whitebeam.

Abundant flowers

The deep shade of the beech discourages many wild flowers but the woodland bluebells form a beautiful sight in spring. The chalk grassland contains many interesting grasses and herbs, such as the elegant quaking-grass and clustered bellflower. Six different wild orchids have been recorded on the reserve including bee, pyramidal and fragrant orchids. Wild marjoram flourishes on the pit floor, alongside cowslip and wild candytuft.

Things to do

Nearby nature reserves

Hog and Hollowhill Woods
2 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Homefield Wood
2 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Loddon Nature Reserve
5 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Reserve information

Location
2.5 miles east of
Henley-on-Thames
Oxfordshire
RG9 3EB
Map reference
SU 813 821
Great for...
butterflies
wildflowers
Best time to visit
Mar - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
1.00 hectares
Walking information
Gentle slopes but take care of some loose flint and roots
Parking
On A4130 2.5 miles east of Henley, park in lay-by 100m west of Black Boy pub; take the bridleway opposite pub for 0.5 miles.
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01865 775476
info@bbowt.org.uk

Smartphone Safari

Every weekend on BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Oxford we broadcast a Smartphone Safari. Listen along as we explore some of our fantastic reserves and introduce you to the wildlife you can see.