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The main attraction is the spectacular, albeit short-lived, show of Pasque flowers in late April or early May. The population of the whole SSSI has been estimated at over twenty thousand plants, of which a varying proportion flowers each year.

Cowslip, early-purple orchid and hairy violet can also be seen in spring. The diverse range of flowers here is ideal for many insects; as a result the reserve has a particularly good butterfly population waiting to be discovered. Rabbit and brown hare help maintain the short grassland and common lizards can often be seen on the bare scree areas.


The pasqueflower site is not the easiest to find if you haven't been there before, but we have put together the following description to help you find it. It is situated in the dry valley between Ampney Downs Farm and Hollow Fosse Farm (not the dry valley behind the camp, next to the official layby).


Driving North on the Fosse Way (A429) go past Ampney Downs Farm on the right. There are two informal lay-bys on the left, park here or park in the second one which is tarmaced with an old field gate entrance. Please do not block any usable gate ways.


Cross the road onto the right hand side verge and head North for about a 80m from the second informal layby. There is a gap in the scrub on the embankment and you should be able to see wooden steps going over a stone wall. Head down the embankment and over the steps.


Follow the stock fence on your left until you reach a fence crossing your way. There is a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust sign, a gate way and water trough. Go through the gate way and past the gorse on your right. Walk down the slope to about half way, then walk along the slope and you should see the pasqueflower.

Species and habitats

Pasqueflower, Early Purple Orchid

Nearby nature reserves

4 miles - Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Sapperton Valley
7 miles - Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Daneway Banks
7 miles - Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Next to the A429, three miles north east of Cirencester.
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Great for...
Best time to visit
May - Aug
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Opening Times
Open at all times
5.30 hectares
Visitors should park on the verges alongside the A429 Fosse Way
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01452 383333