Flora & fauna

Beachy Head, Cuckmere Haven and the South Downs are home to a startling variety of plants and creatures. Get to know a few of the species you’re likely to see, and keep your eyes peeled!

Flora

Many people remember the Downs as being a vast green carpet of grass, but the truth is that this classic chalk downland is a remarkably rich and diverse habitat. Bursting with hawthorn, honeysuckle, yew and sweet briar in autumn, the area is also home to many oddly-named species, including bastard toadflax, bird’s foot trefoil, salad burnet, squinancywort and round-headed rampion.

The soil type, known as rendzina, only supports slow-growing plants, resulting in a diverse range of low-growing herbs across the South Downs. Man’s effect on shaping this environment is significant. By clearing large swathes of woodland to provide grasslands for grazing animals, a new haven for birds, animals and insects was created.

Fauna

The lack of development at Beachy Head and the surrounding downland means that there is plenty of unspoilt habitat for birds, mammals and reptiles. Here are some of the creatures you can expect to see during your visit:

Mammals

Birds

Reptiles

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