A partnership between Surrey Wildlife Trust, Surrey Bat Group, Natural England and English Heritage, we aim to reveal, consolidate and preserve lime kiln structures so they are effectively managed for future generations, to conserve and enhance habitat within the kilns for a range of bat species and improve visitor access and interpretation facilities.

There are 23 lime kilns at Betchworth and Brockham lime works

Brockham Lime Works and Betchworth Quarry nature reserves are adjacent sites that provide a unique combination of natural and industrial heritage. They lie within a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Principal habitats of importance include chalk grassland, with many orchid and butterfly species, yew and mixed woodland and bat hibernation sites. Both sites contain standing remains of lime works that are designated Scheduled Ancient Monuments, being of national significance for their archaeology.

We are currently seeking £932,300 in funding from the Heritage lottery Fund.

Lime Kiln Repairs at Brockham

The eastern battery at Brockham, originally built in 1870, comprises four pairs of linked flare kilns. Its poor condition has required propping by a large scaffolding frame. The kiln bank requires an extensive programme of masonry repairs, major structural pinning, drainage improvements and vegetation management.
The main aim of this will be to halt the deterioration in the condition of the structure in order to preserve the kilns and allow the scaffolding frame to be removed.

Lime Kiln Repairs at Betchworth

The Betchworth site includes two batteries of flare kilns with later Dietzsch kilns, built in the late 19th century, and a Smidth style kiln built in 1901. The Dietzsch kilns and high level steelwork between the two brick towers are in poor condition. Restoration requires the steel and iron work to be repaired, any defective masonry and pointing to be replaced, vegetation removed from the structure and for the kilns to be capped to prevent water getting in. The other kilns are in better condition requiring minor repairs and consolidation.
Bat Habitat Enhancements

The kilns form part of a complex of sites across the North Downs which provide an essential hibernation resource for several species of bat, including, Brown Long-eared and Daubentons. The kilns provide the right climatic conditions of stable temperatures and high humidity that bats require during hibernation.
Cracks in the kilns that bats use will be retained where possible and repaired in a method that still allow the bats access. Enhancements for bats include the further use of bat bricks in repairs and potential restoration of kiln two at Brockham to provide suitable bat habitat. Repairs will allow continued safe access for Surrey Bat Group to monitor the bats.

Visitor Improvements

The Betchworth site has good public access with nearby train station and potential for public parking which are linked by public footpaths to the North Downs Way. We plan to create a self-guided trail linking Betchworth and Brockham lime works with a variety of routes that will provide the public with an enjoyable journey through the old industrial and wildlife rich landscape.
Footpath repairs and improvements will make the route more accessible and provide wildlife enhancements. New interpretation panels will be installed at the kilns and at key points along the trail. A project webpage, self-guided trail leaflet, education pack and events will allow people to discover more about this fascinating landscape.

Reserve Pages

Brockham Limeworks
Betchworth Quarry