Knocking Hoe NNR is an area of 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.
Main habitats: Lowland Grassland
Area: 9 Ha
Site map: Nature on the Map
The site's grassland includes a wide range of characteristic chalk downland plants such as rockrose, dwarf thistle, clustered bellflower, lady's tresses and hoary plantain. There are also large populations of pasque flower, fleawort, burnt-tip orchid and the very rare spotted cat's-ear and moon carrot.
The site is grazed annually by sheep to keep the chalk grassland short which encourages wildflowers and invertebrates to thrive. The sheep are removed from site in early spring to allow the grassland species to flower and set seed. Encroaching scrub is also cut periodically to prevent it dominating the grassland
Knocking Hoe is 0.5 km north of the B655 between the towns of Barton-le-Clay (five km west of the reserve) and Hitchin (six km to the east). The nearest villages are Pegsdon and Hexton, one and two km to the west respectively, both on the B655. There is a car park on this road, just south of the reserve.
There is a weekly bus service run by Grant Palmer that stops in Pegsdon, one kilometre to the west of the site.
The nearest toilet and refreshment facilities are in local towns and villages.
For further information, please contact the Reserve Manager on 01844 351833