Park Gate Down’s orchid collection

Chalk and limestone landscapes in southern Britain today are predominantly huge, hedgeless fields of intensively farmed arable crops. Turning the turf with a plough in order to feed the country during the Second World War was the end of the last great expanses of species rich lowland grassland. Many of the UK’s 56 orchid species…

Park Gate and Points East

Park Gate Down is a dry valley hidden in the well-wooded hills between Stelling Minnis and Elham. The string of three small meadows, wrapped in dark, dense woodland, are ungrazed chalk grassland full of famous orchids, myriad other plants and insects. The fields were never ploughed in the Second World War or afterwards, when the white heat…