Know before you go
Parking informationPark on roadside opposite entrance; take care due to busy traffic and poor visibility.
Grazing animalsCattle and sheep
Please shut gates, please keep to the waymarked paths. Steep slopes and stiles.
When to visit
Opening timesDawn to dusk
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
With excellent views of the Avon Valley, this scrubby grassland has been maintained by grazing for centuries and supports a rich community of wildlife. The open grassland is dotted with lime-loving plants such as twayblade, bee orchid, common-spotted orchid, bird’s-foot trefoil, dog violet, cowslip, fairy flax, field scabious, common knapweed, wild liquorice and common and spiny restharrow.
The reserve is important for butterflies including marbled white, brown argus (rare and in low numbers), small skipper, common blue, meadow brown, small tortoiseshell and small heath.
Visitors should lookout for old anthills and the herbs such as wild thyme that grow on them. Scrubby areas on Windmill Hill consist of flowering hawthorn and blackthorn that provide early nectar for hoverflies and other insects. The mix of grassland, shrubs and trees also help provide cover for willow warbler and chiffchaff. Kestrels are often seen hunting the open hillside for small mammals.