Historic Dover Downlands

Sheep at Dover Castle - Kent Wildlife TrustSheep at Dover Castle - Kent Wildlife Trust

chalk grassland is a high-priority habitat for conservation management

Kent Wildlife Trust

360 view

Restoring and recreating a downland mosaic of species-rich chalk grassland and ancient woodland habitats in the heart of the Dover area.

Ancient semi-natural chalk grassland is a high-priority habitat for conservation management. The Dover District Council Local Planning Authority holds a high proportion of old chalk grassland, some of which has become invaded by scrub and alien species of tree and shrub due to decades of neglect and is in danger of being lost for ever, unless active restoration and viable maintenance is effected.

The Trust is committed to the ongoing core management of the network in Dover: restoring, recreating and extending the project area and safeguarding as much of this high-priority habitat as possible – in accordance with UK and Kent Biodiversity Action Plans for lowland calcareous (or alkaline) grassland.

Virtual tour by Mike McFarlane

360 view

What's happening?

Dover Castle entered into Higher Level Stewardship in 2011 and grazing has started on the site. It is a flagship site for English Heritage and this particular part of the project is being carried out in close partnership with that organisation.

Three core areas have been delivered through Countdown 2010; the Trust has now added two more core areas.

Kent Wildlife Trust will be increasing community involvement.

Start date: 2010

Trust reserves within the scheme

Lydden Temple Ewell, Sladden Woods, several Roadside Nature Reserves

This scheme is helping species including...

Chalk grassland flora, wart-biter bush-cricket, Adonis blue, chalkhill blue, brown argus, silver-spotted skipper, marbled white, adder, small blue, white letter hairstreak, straw belle moth, glow worm, lizard orchid, early spider orchid, man orchid, burnt tip orchid, dropwort, grey partridge, peregrine falcon, hobby, yellowhammer, raven

Current threats to the landscape

  • Strong pressure from housing development
  • Pollution from through traffic (Dover Port to London/M20)

This scheme is also...

Helping wildlife adapt to climate change, providing habitat for pollinating insects, providing volunteering opportunities


Natural England, National Trust, English Heritage, MoD, Local Authorities, local landowners.

To find out more

Email: info@kentwildlife.org.uk | Tel: 01227 719506 |  Kent Wildlife Trust

Living Landscapes

Find out more about our Living Landscape conservation work - targeting areas for landscape-scale nature conservation  and transforming places for people and wildlife.

Farming & wildlife

Find out more about our farmland conservation work with farmers and landowners, and on our own wildlife-friendly demonstration farms.