A former chalk quarry with Grade II listed lime kilns and a species rich grassland. Managed on behalf of Surrey County Council.

Location

North of Brockham
Surrey
Nearest postcode: RH3 7BU

OS Map Reference

TQ205513
A static map of Brockham Limeworks

Know before you go

Size
45 hectares

Parking information

No car park - access on foot on the North Downs Way via The Coombe, Betchworth

Access

Not suitable for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility

Dogs

Dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to July

About the reserve

Decades of industrial chalk quarrying have shaped the landscape of Brockham Limeworks and many of the plants on the site only exist because of the old chalk quarry, which lies at the centre of the site.

Once the area bustled with activity. A network of narrow gauge rail tracks carried the chalk to two batteries of lime kilns. Here the chalk was burned to produce quick-lime, used to make mortar and fertilisers. The site reached its peak at the end of the Victorian times and digging continued until 1936.

Since then the deep scar in the landscape has gradually been reclaimed by nature. The old railway cuttings, spoil heaps and chalk faces have been colonised by many interesting plants and animals.

The derelict remains of the lime kilns, now a grade II listed building, still stand and provide a winter roost for as many as eight species of bat. Part of what was the quarry floor has become species rich chalk grassland. The kilns currently have scaffolding around them to preserve their structure as historical features and as a roosting spot for bats.

Many interesting plants can be seen here such as rock-rose, vipers bugloss and many orchid species. The chalk face reflects sun light into the quarry and helps to maintain a warmer ambient temperature than the surrounding countryside. This is beneficial to the many butterfly species found on site.

Of particular interest is the silver-spotted skipper which is found at only a few sites in the south of England.

Contact us

Contact number: 01483 795496
Contact email: info@surreywt.org.uk

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
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