Watts Bank is a sunny, chalk grassland slope that provides ideal conditions for wild flowers, butterflies and at least 16 different species of grass.


8 miles south-west of Wantage
RG17 7LE

OS Map Reference

A static map of Watts Bank

Know before you go

2 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Park near to Lambourn school just south of Lambourn on the hard verge, 1 mile from reserve

Grazing animals



Steep slope; rough, sloping ground, no paths; stile, gate


Guide dogs only

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to August

About the reserve


This small reserve on a steep southwest slope is part of a larger wildlife site named after the adjacent track from Lambourn, the White Shute Byway. Fragments of wildflower-rich chalk grassland, like Watts Bank, have usually survived because they are situated on a hill or earthworks which are unsuitable for ploughing.

Butterfly haven

This grassland hillside is a natural sun trap, sheltered from wind by patches of scrub at each corner. It is very attractive to butterflies, with an impressive 32 species recorded, including chalkhill blue, green hairstreak, brown argus and dingy skipper. They fly amongst the wild flowers and at least 16 species of grass including quaking-grass, whose purplish-green flowers dance delicately in the breeze. Hazel, blackthorn and bramble scrub provide shelter for many small birds.


Contact us

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Contact number: 01628 829574
Contact email: info@bbowt.org.uk

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)