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Old Burghclere Lime Quarry

Reserve Location
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Lying about 7 miles to the South of Newbury (GR 472 574), Old Burghclere Lime Quarry is a small patch of chalk grassland habitat, surrounded by arable land. It is designated as a SSSI largely on account of its plant community and is managed by Hampshire Wildlife Trust.

Until earlier this century, chalk was taken from the quarry and heated in kilns to produce quicklime. This was mostly used in agriculture, but lime of the highest quality, such as that produced at Old Burghclere was used for plaster mouldings, applied to ceilings.

Evidence of its industrial past is easy to see. The powder store, lime kilns and the grades for the narrow gauge railway still exist. After working operations ceased the quarry became colonised by chalk loving plants.

The site is at its best during June with flowers like White Helleborine, Fly Orchid and Wild Thyme. Recent finds that are being encouraged are Hairy Rockcress and Red Hempnettle. The site is also good for butterflies like the Small Blue, which feed on Kidney Vetch.

The site is not grazed (except by rabbits which are increasingly becoming a problem) and the main management task is to keep the thorn and willow scrub under control, preventing the site reverting to secondary woodland. BCV annually clears a path that crosses the site to maintain access. Recently we have erected small rabbit proof enclosures to see how this affects the Kidney Vetch and the Small Blue population.

Please apply to Hampshire Wildlife Trust for a permit if you want to visit the site.


Click here for HWT's leaflet about the reserve.

Yellow-tailed Moth caterpillar photo of a Yellow-tailed moth caterpiller Common Spotted Orchids  photo of a Common Spotted Orchid

Common Twayblade flower stalk
 photo of a Common Twayblade
Fly Orchid
nice photo of a Fly Orchid

Photo Gallery (click on image to enlarge)

The following photographs show just a few examples of what can be found here. Click on any photo to see a larger version.
Red Hemp-nettle Yellow-wort.
Rabbit exclosures in winter Looking into the quarry from the rim