Castle Hill Nature Reserve, Newhaven
This Nature Reserve is managed in close partnership with the Castle Hill Conservation Group.
Up on the cliff tops, next to Newhaven Fort, this reserve offers spectacular views over the Ouse Estuary, the Downs, Seaford Head and out to sea. We guarantee it's worth the walk.
Fort Road, Newhaven BN9 9DS Map Reference: TQ 446 002
There is a network of footpaths across the reserve including a disabled access surfaced path from the car park up onto the cliff top. Many of the footpaths have lots of steps and are on steep slopes. All footpaths are permissive. There are public rights of way leading onto the reserve.
Parking: There are two car parking areas on site.
Recreation: Walking and Dog Walking is permitted
Walks: Seahaven Coastal Trail, running between Saltdean and Exceat takes is some of the stunning views that the Sussex coast has to offer.
The cliff top is the most sensitive habitat here and a good example of maritime grassland. The grass is kept short by a combination of rabbit grazing and mowing, allowing carpets of yellow Birds-foot-trefoil and pink Thrift to bloom.
The large north-facing hill is dominated by gorse and scrub, which provides an important habitat for lots of birds including the Lesser Whitethroat, which migrates here in summer all the way from Africa. Walk around the hidden paths on a spring morning and you are surrounded by a chorus of bird song.
Amongst the scrub we have created open glades with the help of volunteers. In summer these sunny sheltered clearings are full to bursting with a mix of acid and chalk grassland wild flowers and alive with insects and butterflies.
Below the site, on the West Beach, there are small areas of vegetated shingle and rock pools at low tide. From here you are dwarfed by the huge cliff face, a geological formation of international importance and home to a noisy colony of nesting Fulmars.
Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI). The cliffs are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
- Graham Amy
- Conservation Volunteers Castle Hill group
- 01273 514942