North Downs chalk downland

Reigate Hill's chalk downland © National Trust

Reigate Hill's chalk downland

The chalk downland is a special type of grassland habitat, found on chalk hills such as the North Downs. It’s an extremely fragile and threatened habitat and is now very rare in the UK.

Looking after the chalk downland

Belted Galloway cattle © Marc Russell

Belted Galloway cattle

We need to carefully manage our chalk downland or we’ll lose this habitat; it’ll be replaced by woodland through a natural process called succession. This is done by clearing scrub (bushes and little trees) and conservation grazing by our Belted Galloway cattle.

Rich flora and fauna

The rare Adonis blue butterfly © Rob Hewer

The rare Adonis blue butterfly

Reigate Hill and Gatton Park is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by Natural England for its rich variety of flora and fauna. Many rare butterflies and plants, 40 different species can grow in just one square metre, thrive on the chalk downland.

Our rare flower - Meadow Clary

Purple Meadow Clary

Purple Meadow Clary

Many rare flowers grow on the chalk downland at Colley Hill, but the Meadow Clary is unique to us in Surrey...

Dormouse town

Dormice are most well known for their laid back lifestyle and thanks to a new project those around Juniper Hill can move into readymade homes and save their energy for raising a family.

Gatton's wildlife...

The park is bursting with wildlife from heron and geese on the ponds to buzzards soaring over the open parkland. There are many mature trees and young foxes and badgers can sometimes be spotted on the woodland edge.

Deer spotting

Get up early and visit Gatton Park, if you’re lucky you’ll be rewarded with the sighting of a shy Roe deer or maybe two...

Nature's colours