||Fairmile Bottom is a 1km sweep of wildflower-rich
grassland, backed by Yew woods, near Slindon, with views over
pastures and hedgerows.
For use by
||Walkers and cyclists
What's at Fairmile Bottom?
Fairmile Bottom Local Nature Reserve and
SSSI contains chalk grassland and Yew and Beech woodland. Chalk
grassland is one of our richest natural habitats, traditionally
managed by grazing. Nationally about 80% has been lost in the last
60 years, so this is an important site.
It is rich in flowers, including scented wild herbs such as
basil, thyme and marjoram. Ten orchid species have been found here,
including Bee, Pyramidal and Fly. Other colourful finds include
Small Scabious and delicate nodding Harebells.
Butterflies include Silver-washed Fritillary, Grizzled Skipper
and White Admiral. The grassland buzzes with grasshoppers. The
anthills in the grassland and decaying branches in the surrounding
trees make this a great place to see Green Woodpeckers.
As well as Yew and European Beech, the woodland features Oaks,
Ash, coppiced Hazel and Sweet chestnut. A range of impressive fungi
thrive on the woodland’s decaying matter. A rare species of flat
bark beetle depends on the beech trees and is known from just a
handful of sites in the UK.
We have reintroduced traditional cattle grazing to conserve this
site's special downland flora and fauna, characteristic of the
South Downs National Park. Cattle can be found grazing at the site
from August to December.
How to get there
To find Fairmile Bottom, launch our interactive iMap, select
'British National Grid' from the search menu and enter
SU985091 into the search box (top left).
The network of footpaths and bridleways in the area connect the
site to Madehurst, Slindon, Houghton and Arundel (2½ miles away).
Monarch’s Way passes nearby the site, following Charles II’s
escape route from Worcester to Shoreham-by-Sea.
A bridleway from central Arundel (2½ miles) passes through the
Nearest train stations are Amberley (3 miles on foot or bike)
and Arundel (3½ miles on foot or bike).
There is limited layby parking at the site alongside the A29
between its junction with the A284 (Whiteways roundabout) and
The grassland area is
Open Access land and can be walked around freely. There are no
surfaced paths and the terrain is sloping. Towards the top of the
slope is a well-trodden route for walking the full length of the
grassland area. A public footpath leads into the south-west end of
the grassland from Rewell Wood.
Dogs should be kept under close control to avoid disturbance to
other visitors and wildlife.
There are no toilets or other facilities on the site.
Whiteways Countryside Site is just up the A29 at Whiteways
roundabout, with car park, picnic site, Whiteways Café and
More places to explore nearby
Footpaths from Fairmile Bottom continue into Rewell Wood to the
south and east and Houghton Forest to the north-east.
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