Download our reserve leaflet here

Wilton
OS map 130 Grid ref: SU046348

  • Not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs
  • Dogs on leads are welcome
  • 7.37 hectares

Little Langford Down reserve map © WWT

Little Langford Down is a tranquil wildflower-covered slope scattered with scrub and old oak trees and surrounded by Grovely Wood. The slopes of this Site of Special Scientific Interest are peppered with anthills, many of which have built up to a considerable size. It has an array of wildflowers – more than 140 species including squinancywort, eyebright, chalk milkwort and the lesser butterfly orchid. Look for the nationally scarce bastard toadflax, a small herb with tiny white flowers. It is rare in Wiltshire, as is meadow saxifrage, also growing here.

Surviving fragments of field systems show that crops were grown here in the late Prehistoric or Romano-British period. However, the site has not been cultivated for several centuries and has only been used for grazing livestock.

An incredible 36 species of butterflies are drawn to the wildflowers on the reserve. In addition to downland species such as the Adonis blue and green hairstreak; many inhabit woodland – like the pearl-bordered fritillary. Other invertebrates include the nationally scarce dotted bee-fly and the solitary bee that nests in empty snail shells. You may hear the drumming of woodpeckers as the great spotted and green woodpeckers are both in the area, and keep an eye out buzzards and ravens.

Little Langford is grazed by cattle and volunteers help keep the scrub in check.

 Green hairstreak © Paul Thrush Bastard toadflax © Matt Lavin Green woodpecker © Jon Hawkins Mule sheep © Sarah Marshall

Directions

If driving - From Salisbury take A36 to Warminster. In Stoford turn left towards Great Wishford (over the bridge). Continue past church and Royal Oak pub then under railway bridge and continue along Grovely Road for about 1 mile. Park at small car park, near the sign for Grovely Wood. On foot follow track into woods for 20-30 minutes (approx. 1.25 miles) until you see Forestry Commission gate. Continue along bridleway past gate, take first turning on right and follow track for 5-10 minutes (approx. 0.5 miles). Just past a left-hand bend, look for post with white arrow on right. Follow track indicated by arrow and a short path will lead you to the entrance.

If using bus – No bus services available.

If cycling – Leave National Cycle Route 24 in Great Wishford, and follow Grovely Road to the car park. Lock bike up here, and then follow the walking directions as above.

Nearby reservesLangford Lakes

What to see locally - Heale House and Garden (5 miles), Amesbury Abbey (7 miles), Prescombe Down National Nature Reserve (8 miles), Netheravon Dovecote (10 miles)

Little Langford Down location map © WWT
(Photo: Little Langford Down © Barry Craske)