Castle Hill is one of the finest examples of ancient, wildflower-rich, chalk grassland sites in the country.
County: East Sussex
Main habitats: Lowland chalk grassland and mixed scrub.
Other designations: Castle Hill is designated a SSSI, a Biogenetic Reserve by the Council of Europe and is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the European Habitats Directive.
Why visit: As well as a beautiful landscape with panoramic views, there is a wealth of wild plants and animals to enjoy discovering on the Reserve. Castle Hill NNR is a popular destination for Brighton residents, out for a walk, a cycle or horse ride. It is an ideal destination for anyone seeking tranquillity, fresh air, sea views and a chance to escape the hurly burly of urban life.
Star species: Early spider orchid and Spring gentian. Adonis blue, chalkhill blue, small blue and silver spotted skipper butterflies. Long winged cone head, Roessel’s and wart biter crickets.
Access: Castle Hill NNR is ‘open access’ land, enabling visitors to take advantage of wandering freely around the site. We do however recommend keeping to the paths to avoid unnecessary disturbance of wildlife, particularly during the nesting season and flowering season. The site is open to the public all year round, free of charge.
Please follow the Countryside Code when visiting the Reserve.
Please keep dogs under effective control to protect grazing animals and sensitive wildlife. The access rights that normally apply to open country and registered common land (known as ‘open access’ land) require dogs to be kept on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July, to help protect ground nesting birds, and all year round near farm animals.
Please leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home
Please leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available
Camping and fires are not allowed within the Reserve
Mountain bikes and horses can cause severe damage to the turf and riders must keep to bridleways
Respect other people – By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horse- riders on bridleways.
Plan ahead and be prepared – You are responsible for your own safety and for others in your care
For further information about the reserve, please call the Senior Reserves Manager on 07971 974401 or the Reserves Manager on 07825 386620.