Orchid walk, Downe Bank & Down House
28th May, 11:00 - 16:00£30.00
We will spend the morning at Downe Bank and nearby Hangrove, then walk 20-30 minutes to Down House for a tour of the gardens in the afternoon.
Hangrove and Downe Bank form part of the High Elms and Downe Bank SSSI and are crucial to the landscape connectivity of chalk grasslands in the Cudham valleys. They are unique in landscape history having been walked and studied by Charles Darwin himself, who produced some of the earliest botanical records of the sites.
Today the site is rich in a number of chalk grassland dwelling species most notable of which are the orchids and butterflies. Such delights include Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora), Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera), Fly Orchid (Ophrys insectifera) and Small blue butterflies (Cupido Minimus).
On the day
We hope to see 8 or 9 orchid species along with other chalk grassland botanical delights and butterfly species.
Our guides will be Steven Lofting (Downe Bank & Hangrove) and Antony O’Rourke (Down House gardens.)
The meeting point is a 5-minute walk from Downe Village. A map will be provided to participants after booking.
To get to the village, take a bus as below or park in Downe Village (but note that this might be difficult and we always recommend more sustainable means of travel anyway).
146 bus goes from Bromley North station, stops outside Bromley South station (30 min train from Tulse Hill via Peckham Rye) and terminates in Downe Village (once an hour).
R8 bus goes from Orpington (30 min train from Herne Hill) to Downe Village (once an hour).
Please bring a packed lunch