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Park Gate Down - The Hector Wilks Reserve

Ancient chalk grassland with a very rich flora.

This picturesque reserve renowned for its rare orchid varieties consists of seven hectares of ancient chalk grassland with scrub and fringing woodland on the east side of a dry valley.  It has attracted many feeding and breeding birds, including green and great-spotted woodpeckers amongst many others. The site is good for adder, common lizard and slow worm. It has a rich flora, including cowslip, primrose, violet, marjoram and salad burnet. It is also rich in orchids such as early-purple, common-spotted, pyramidal, green-veined, bee and monkey.

Nearby nature reserves

Spong Wood
3 miles - Kent Wildlife Trust
Yockletts Bank
3 miles - Kent Wildlife Trust
Sladden Wood
6 miles - Kent Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Lies between Stelling Minnis and Elham
Canterbury
Kent
CT4 6NE
Map reference
TR168457
Great for...
butterflies
reptiles
spring flowers
stunning views
wildflowers
Best time to visit
May - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
7.00 hectares
Status
Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Access
Yes

The reserve lies between the villages of Stelling Minnis and Elham. Take the A2 towards Dover and the B2065 to Elham. Just before Elham, take a right turn to Park Gate and then the second road on the left. Access is usually unresticted on foot, although occasionally areas may need to be excluded to protect sensitive wildlife.
Walking information
Rugged uneven slopes.
Parking
Limited roadside car parking.
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Cattle
Reserve manager
John McAllister
Tel: 01622 662012
info@kentwildlife.org.uk