In Wiltshire's rolling chalk country, you’ll find a new downland nature reserve at Winterbourne Downs. Here, the RSPB has recreated wildlife-rich habitats once typical of most downland farms to provide a safe haven for Stone-curlews and Lapwings and a marvellous variety of chalk-loving plants and insects.
We’re helping to transform fields once used for crops into flowering grasslands. The wildlife is showing its appreciation – plenty of bugs have moved in to make the most of the nectar-rich fields. Plus, we’ve built south-facing butterfly banks, packed with the favourite flowers of the Small Blue and Brown Argus. Keeping them company, you’ll spot Skylarks, Lapwings, Yellowhammers, Linnets and Grey Partridges making the most of the buzzing fields and healthy hedgerows.
Chalk grasslands are a really biodiverse habitat, bursting with different plants and animals. In the UK, we’ve lost 80% of the area of them – so this newly-restored area is really important. As you explore, keep an eye out for the mysterious and rare Stone-curlews. Though still vulnerable, their numbers have begun to recover in restored spots like this, so it’s a great place to see them. Winterbourne Downs’ colourful hedgerows and scrubland are perfect for secretive woodland wildlife such as Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Barn Owls and the Brown Hairstreak butterfly.