Natural England - Knocking Hoe NNR

Knocking Hoe NNR

Knocking Hoe NNR is an area of species rich chalk grassland at the north end of the Chilterns. The site is of exceptional importance in supporting large populations of a number of rare plants.

Knocking Hoe NNR

County: Bedfordshire

Main habitats: Lowland calcareous grassland

Why visit: Knocking Hoe NNR is only eight hectares in size, and has also been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its five rare plants, namely moon carrot, spotted catsear, field fleawort, burnt tip orchid and pasque flower. The site is also of archaeological interest with a prominent strip lynchett field system.

Star species: Colourful wildflowers cover the chalk grassland, including characteristic downland plants such as horseshoe vetch, small scabious, rockrose and clustered bellflower. The site is also well known for its population of the orchid autumn lady’s tresses which has been studied continuously on the reserve for fifty years. Various downland butterflies can be seen at Knocking Hoe in summer, including common blue, chalkhill blue and brown argus.

How to get there

By train

The nearest train station is in Hitchinexternal link.

By car

The reserve is 500 metres north of the B655 near to the village of Pegsdon, between Barton le Clay and Hitchin.

On foot

The reserve is 500 metres north of the B655 near to the village of Pegsdon, between Barton le Clay and Hitchin. Access is via footpaths from the B655.

Want to get involved?

For details of conservation volunteering opportunities in the local area, please visit northchilternsvolunteering.comexternal link.

Further information

For further information about the reserve please contact the Reserve Manager on tel: 01844 351833 or by email: robert.silverwood@naturalengland.org.uk.