Looking after this special place

Keith Steggall, National Trust Wiltshire Landscape Ranger Keith Steggall National Trust Wiltshire Landscape Ranger
Cowslip on a hillside

Like many other countryside sites, there is always a careful balance between looking after nature and making it accessible for people to visit.

At Calstone and Cherhill downs we are privileged to look after a fantastic habitat for a wide range of species of grassland insects and flowers as well as the birds that feed on them.

We work very closely with our own wildlife and conservations advisers, Natural England and the tenant grazier to ensure that an appropriate grazing plan is designed to support and improve the diversity of species on this site.

Cattle graze a broad range of plants and discourage the development of rank vegetation and scrub, allowing the natural chalkland species to thrive.

We make regular checks and record key species to monitor how well they are doing each year which enables us to adjust our management plans where needed. See below.

Volunteers monitor the condition of the hill fort so that we can take action to repair any areas of erosion and prevent further deterioration.

In addition to looking after the environment, we also make sure that the site remains open for visitors, that pathways are maintained, fences are stockproof and gates and stiles are safe.

We also act as a main point of contact for any queries or concerns and can be contacted via email on wiltshire.landscape@nationaltrust.org.uk