Know before you go
Parking informationPark near to Lambourn school just south of Lambourn on the hard verge, 1 mile from reserve
Steep slope; rough, sloping ground, no paths; stile, gate
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch 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.
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.