Wye National Nature Reserve

Location Details


off the A28
North East of Ashford

There are spectacular views over the Romney Marsh and Weald and the reserve is home to many orchid species.

How to get there

The reserve is 2 km south east of the town of Wye and 6 km north east of Ashford. By car access to Wye is via minor roads from the A28. The reserve's eastern boundary is marked by a minor road from Wye to the village of Hastingleigh and there is a car park on this road next to the reserve.

Two trails pass near the reserve: the Stour Valley Walk and the North Downs Way National Trail.

Wye is also on Route 18 of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.

What to see

Wildlife: the site's chalk grassland is notable for the range of orchids it supports, 21 species having been recorded at the site including lady orchid, fly orchid, the rare late and early spider orchid and man orchid.

As well as grassland the reserve encompasses areas of scrub, woodland and over 3.5 km of hedgerows; these habitats support around 50 breeding bird species including nightingale, hawfinch, lesser spotted woodpecker and kestrel.

Reptiles found here include adder, grass snake, slow worm and common lizard.

Landscape: the reserve is renowned for its views over the Romney Marsh, Weald and out to the Channel coast. The site is also widely known for landscape features such as the Devil's Kneading Trough a dry, steep-sided valley formed by peri-glacial action near the end of the last ice age.


There is a 4 km nature trail (steep in places) through the reserve and leaflets and signs are available for visitor information.

Welcome to the Wildside!

Natural England and The Heritage Lottery Fund have joined forces to deliver an exciting new project called Welcome to the Wildside!

This project is very much about welcoming everyone to enjoy and experience three very different National Nature Reserves (NNRs) in Kent; Stodmarsh NNR which is just outside Canterbury, Wye NNR and Ham Street Woods NNR that are located near to Ashford. The project's aim is to put people back in touch with nature.

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