A stunning sweep of chalk downland with breathtaking views stretching across Pewsey Vale.

Taking in three hills and the Alton Barnes white horse, this reserve offers great opportunities for landscape and wildlife photography.  A fantastic circular walk from the small car park includes Neolithic features, the white horse and the Wansdyke.

Pewsey Downs is one of the finest examples of chalk downland in southern England. It is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the European Habitats and Species Directive.  The flower-rich grasslands which occur on the Downs have developed over the Upper Chalk due mainly to the low level of plant nutrients in the soil. This nutrient-poor soil prevents more vigorous plant species dominating the finer herbs.  While the lack of nutrients is important, the localised climate, steepness of slope, aspect and amount of – or even the lack of – soil also creates a variety of conditions ideal for a wide range of plants.

Plant species found in the reserve include common spotted, frog and fragrant orchids, field fleawort, early gentian, round-headed rampion and bastard toadflax. Butterflies include marble white, skipper, green hairstreak, wall brown and chalkhill blue.


Further Information

More information on all of Wiltshire’s national nature reserves can be found at gov.uk

Parking available at:
Grid Reference: SU115638
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Image: Walking on Pewsey Downs Credit: Ann Shepley