Chalk Grassland

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Chalk grassland (or lowland calcareous grassland) is a habitat of international importance for its rarity and its species richness. It is found over limestone and chalk rocks and grows below an altitude of 250m on shallow, lime-rich soils, mainly in the warmer, drier south and east of the UK. As many as 40 different species can be found within a square metre. The UK holds around 50% of the world’s surviving chalk grassland with major concentrations on the North and South Downs of southeast England. The following species were identified as key species indicators for chalk grassland in good condition

Who might you see?

Bee Orchid


Small Blue


Salad Burnet


Horseshoe Vetch


Conservation projects

Small Blue

The Society has been facilitating several volunteer groups to help with the restoration of chalk downland at the Hampton Estate, Puttenham. This involves removing inappropriate tree species from the chalk downland using tree poppers. Once this work has been completed, Butterfly Conservation are planning to plant kidney vetch, the foodplant of the Small Blue.

Volunteer with the Society

Watch our Making Space for Nature film, celebrating the 150-year birthday of composer of the Lark Ascending, Ralph Vaughn Williams and our mosaic of habitats in the Surrey Hills.

This video was created in partnership with the National Trust.

Become a Friend of the Surrey Hills

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