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Picturesque rolling downland with chalk grassland flowers and butterflies, set in a working livestock farm as part of the wider Malling Downs area.


In many ways Southerham is an extension of Malling Down, for
it lies right next to it. Southerham is much more than a working farm however, for it is a fabulous nature reserve in its own right. The flatter areas were farmed with arable crops for many decades, and have now reverted to coarse grassland, which will gradually improve with continued grazing effort.

More importantly there are several warm, south-facing slopes, which are alive with butterflies in mid-summer


location map
nature reserve map (pdf)
town: Lewes
postcode: BN8 6ST
grid ref: TQ456089
lat long: N 50.861722
E 0.068200


131 hectares

Further information

Nature reserve guide entry (pdf)

Nature reserve leaflet

Species Recording Form

Sussex Downs Society

National cycle network near this nature reserve

Nearby Sussex Wildlife Trust nature reserves

Malling Down

Getting around

This nature reserve is found one mile east of Lewes. A footpath which runs between Lewes and Glynde crosses the reserve, and is a superb way to explore the whole area including Malling Down and Mount Caburn. The footpath may be picked up from Lewes Golf Club car park (parking for club members only), or opposite the post office 350m north of Glynde railway station. The reserve may also be accessed directly from Malling Down on paths which cross the golf course. For the return journey, trains run between Glynde and Lewes hourly, with a journey time of only six minutes.

The footpath is never very steep and usually dry, but the steeper slopes are the best places for flowers and butterflies. There are some stiles and as there are livestock present please ensure that gates are left as you find them.

What you can see

Glorious downland scenery with orchids, and other flowers, chalkloving butterflies including small blue, and farmland birds such as corn bunting.

corn bunting / Hugh Clark


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