Aston Clinton Ragpits

Kate Titford

Aston Clinton Ragpits

A wonderful wildlife experience of chalkland flowers including greater butterfly-orchids and thousands of fragrant orchids.

Location

4 and a quarter miles south-east of Aylesbury

Buckinghamshire
HP22 5NF
A static map of Aston Clinton Ragpits

Know before you go

Size
3 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Hard verge near reserve entrance

Grazing animals

Yes

Walking trails

There is a network of smaller paths that visitors are free to explore. Short, steep slopes; some loose stone; steps. Please keep to the paths to avoid trampling the rare wild flowers.

Access

There is a network of smaller paths that visitors are free to explore. Short, steep slopes; some loose stone; steps.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to August

About the reserve

A remarkable place

Tucked away on the edge of Wendover Woods between Aylesbury and Tring, Aston Clinton Ragpits is a remarkable nature reserve. Just three hectares in size and boasting eight species of orchid and over 25 different types of butterfly, this reserve offers a real treat to visitors in spring and summer.

From chalkpit to orchid paradise

The site was once an old chalk pit, worked for its coveted chalk freestone or 'rag' which was used for local building. The reserve has been looked after by BBOWT for over 20 years and due to meticulous management a huge variety of wild flowers, shrubs, butterflies and other animals have colonised the site. Towards the end of June you can enjoy a spectacular display of orchids which includes greater butterfly-orchid, pyramidal orchid and thousands of fragrant orchids with their deep pink, clove-scented flowers. 

Chalk grassland

The chalk ground provides perfect conditions for this profusion of orchids and other wild flowers. As well as the orchids, look out for cowslip, bright blue chalk milkwort, mauve autumn gentian and yellow horseshoe vetch. 

Fabulous butterflies

The reserve's flowers attract an amazing array of butterflies, and some scrubby areas have been fenced off to provide areas for them to roost and reproduce. Species include marbled white, chalkhill blue, brimstone, small tortoiseshell, peacock and red admiral.

Sun and rain

While you're admiring the flying beauties, keep an eye out in the sunshine for slow-worms and basking grass snakes. After wet weather the Roman snail can be seen here. It is the largest of the British snails, the size of a golf ball and often white in colour with pale brown bands.
 

 "This reserve is very special to me and I have loved it for many years."

"A magical place. Primroses, cowslips, amazing orchid displays then butterflies on the chalk grassland flowers."

 

Contact us

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Contact number: 01442 826774
Contact email: info@bbowt.org.uk

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)