Wealden Heaths and South Downs Chalk

Noar Hill by ICR

The Wealden Heaths represent some of the best examples of lowland heath in England. The heaths support a wide variety of wetland plants, amphibians and reptiles, and are important for breeding birds such as Dartford warbler and nightjar.

We are working with the Ministry of Defence to reconnect fragmented heathland habitats by encouraging grazing on the army training estate at Longmoor and Woolmer.

We also run an environmental education programme on sites across north Hampshire. Volunteers enable us to manage our land for the benefit of local wildlife, while education helps us to inspire people with the beauty and importance of the natural environment.

Where is it?

Situated in east Hampshire, much of this area is now part of the South Downs National Park. A quiet and more remote part of Hampshire, its largest town, Petersfield, is at its centre. To the north it includes the village of Selborne.

Nature reserves

Chappetts Copse by Steve PageNoar Hill - once the site of medieval chalk workings, Noar Hill is nationally renowned for its rare plants and butterflies. It is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its chalk grassland, mixed deciduous woodland and meadow habitats.

Weavers Down Bog - designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its mire, wet heath and woodland habitats, this small nature reserve is part of the much larger Woolmer Forest. It is home to many rare species including bog asphodel, sundews, sphagnum mosses and wild cranberry.

Coulters Dean - this small area of woodland and chalk grassland is now a refuge for many scarce plants and butterflies. Common Blue by Chris BeanThe nature reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for both its lowland chalk grassland and mixed deciduous woodland habitats.

Chappetts Copse - a beech wood sited on a chalk ridge, Chappetts Copse is rich in woodland flowers, including orchids, which grow in the clearings and in the dappled light beneath the trees.

Shutts Copse - a broadleaved woodland with ancient hazel coppice, it is believed that this small wood was clear-felled shortly after the second world war. Shutts Copse is a National Dormouse Monitoring Programme site.