Hurley Chalk Pit

Hurley Chalk Pit

Kate Titford

Hurley Chalk Pit

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


2.5 miles east of Henley-on-Thames

OS Map Reference

A static map of Hurley Chalk Pit

Know before you go

1 hectare

Entry fee


Parking information

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.


Gentle slopes but watch out for some loose flint and roots


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to September

About the reserve

Varied habitats

A small reserve, Hurley Chalk Pit encompasses 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.


Contact us

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Contact number: 01865 775476
Contact email: