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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/west-sussexs-national-nature-reserves/west-sussexs-national-nature-reserves
Ebernoe Common is a large wooded common in West Sussex.
Main habitats: wood pasture
Area: 75.9 ha
Management: Ebernoe Common NNR is owned and managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust.
Further information about the NNR, its wildlife and how to visit can be found on the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Ebernoe Common web page.
Email: Contact form on the Sussex Wildlife Trust website
Telephone: 01273 492630
The reserve contains one of the finest yew forests in western Europe, including a grove of ancient trees which are among the oldest living things in Britain.
Main habitats: yew woodland and lowland chalk grassland
Features of interest
Kingley Vale is known for its twisted and ancient yews and includes a grove of veteran trees which are among the oldest living things in Britain. Several are at least 500 years old, with the oldest measuring more than 5 metres in girth.
It also has superb chalk grassland and is one of the most important archaeological sites in southern England, with 14 scheduled ancient monuments.
Look out for green woodpeckers, as well as red kites and buzzards. Breeding birds at Kingley Vale include the nightingale, grasshopper warbler, blackcap, marsh tit and green woodpecker. Buzzards are often seen, along with other birds of prey including kestrel, sparrowhawk, hobby (in summer), red kite and tawny owl.
Of the 58 species of butterfly that breed in England, 39 have been recorded at Kingley Vale, including chalkhill blue, holly blue and brimstone.
In addition to the chalk-loving plants like birds foot trefoil, kidney vetch and fairy flax, there are 11 different species of orchid at the reserve including bee, common spotted, frog and fly orchids.
The terrain is steep and difficult in places and not suitable for wheelchairs.
For more details see the site information leaflet
The nearest train station is Chichester, about 3 miles (5 kilometres) away.
There is no bus link to the reserve.
There are 2 car parks serving this reserve:
- West Stoke car park to the south (SU824088) - this has limited capacity so gets very busy at weekends and in school holidays
- Stoughton car park to the north (SU815126) - this belongs to Forestry England (FE) and is quieter, so more suitable for larger groups
Please do not park on the road. This creates a hazard for emergency vehicles and blocks local residents.
Cycle parking is available at West Stoke car park.
Leave the A286 at Mid Lavant and continue west along Downs Road until West Stoke. Continue through West Stoke passing the church, take the next right hand turn on the sharp bend and the car park is located just after the turn.
School and community groups
There is a Forest School that school groups can book. Contact Chichester Forest Schools on 07747611912 for details.
Kingley Vale’s artist-in-residence, Trudy Redfern, will be escorting groups of children on sketching trips on the South Downs. She is a qualified teacher and award-winning artist and sculptor, with a particular interest in wildlife and nature. For more information call Trudy on 01243 572504 or 07740 647310 (mobile) or visit www.trudyredfern.co.uk
For information about the reserve contact 0300 060 6000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org