You may think you really need to get out into the countryside but you really don’t need to travel miles out of London. It’s all on your doorstep!
This autumn, London Wildlife Trust is encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors and Walk the Chalk to enjoy Croydon’s amazing chalk landscapes - London’s very own bit of the North Downs - and home to an amazing variety of species.
For extra inspiration to get you in the mood, the Trust is launching its film "From Thorn to Orchid", produced and sponsored by Viasat Broadcasting UK, part of Modern Times Group. The film celebrates the reasons why south London’s chalk grasslands are so special for wildlife and why the local community is working so hard to look after them.
Watch "From Thorn to Orchid" to discover the incredible species that can be found on chalk grassland – one of the rarest habitats in London - from pyramidal orchid and kidney vetch to the scarce small blue butterfly. And find out why conservation volunteering is such a rewarding pastime.
Where to Walk the Chalk
• Saltbox Hill, a Site of Special Scientific Interest steadily being restored to its former floral glory
• Chapel Bank, a broad valley of chalk woodland and grassland, rich in orchids
• Hutchinson’s Bank, a steep mosaic of grassland and scrub, supporting a flurry of butterflies
• Threecorner Grove, a woodland of tall ash, cherry and lime, shading bluebell and anemone
Petra Sovic Davies at the London Wildlife Trust says, ‘We hope as many people as possible will come out and Walk the Chalk to experience the wonders of these amazing free wildlife sites. Autumn is a brilliant time to see colourful berries including hawthorn, dog rose, blackcurrants and privet or winter migrant birds like fieldfare and redwing - and if you’re lucky you could even spot a hovering kestrel, like I did the other day. We also hope some people will take their interest a step further and get involved in the practical conservation of these special sites.’
To watch "From Thorn to Orchid", find out more about where to Walk the Chalk and for directions to sites click here. To find out more about volunteering to conserve this precious habitat contact Petra Davies.
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