Steepdown Hill Local Wildlife Site

Steepdown Hill Local Wildlife Site is a field on Lychpole Farm, 900m east of Beggars Bush car park, Sompting BN15 0AY, where Titch Hill Road meets Steyning Bostal Road.

CROW Act Open Access Areas are nearly always open but please refer to maps to identify which field is the Open Access Area.

Access to the site is 900m of rough track and then a steep hill slope on which livestock may be present. Unfortunately, this site is not accessible for some disabilities due to the path being very rough and the hillside very steep and uneven.

The only Parking is at Beggars Bush car park, do not drive into the farmhouses area at this postcode. If that is full, park in North Sompting residential area and walk up the footpaths from Herbert Road west then north. Access into the field is via the public footpath.  For your safety please only enter fields where a public footpath is indicated.

The site is about 10Ha with Cowslips and Harebells often flowering on this ancient species rich chalk grassland.

The site is managed by the Farmer with regular grazing outside of the flowering season, and occasional control of scrub as needed.

Seed collection is not allowed as this is a designated Local Wildlife Site and the seed should stay where it is to sustain populations.

Steepdown Hill LWS is ancient chalk grassland; it was too steep to be mechanically ploughed and fertilised when so much wildflower-rich chalk downland was ploughed to feed the nation after World War II.  So it is a precious survival.  The lower, flatter northwest part of the meadow was ploughed and fertilised, but Sompting Estate and our Lychpole Farm tenants have reverted it to unfertilised grassland.  We hope that over years to come, the cattle and sheep grazing the older parts of the meadow will bring seeds on their hooves to make that part flower-rich like the rest. 

More information on

Our future plans are to extend the flower-rich sward diversity over the former arable field in the NW corner of the site, which we have added to the LWS area for this purpose.

For more information visit Sompting Estate

The Gallops, Findon Valley

The Gallops is an open greenspace that features several important habitats on its fringes, including chalk grassland and semi-natural woodland, as such it is listed as a West Sussex Area of Nature Conservation Importance and is a part of the South Downs National Park. Good access to the site is located between Bost Hill and Vale Drive in Findon, wheelchair users and the walking impaired may need support in accessing the site.

Findon Valley Residents’ Association work in partnership with their local park rangers to enrich The Gallops with a patch of pollinator friendly wildflower mixes. As part of this partnership, in the Autumn local school children, volunteers and park rangers clear the ground and then begin sowing seeds in the Spring, an area approximately 60m2 is used for this purpose.

Among the various species found here you can spot Common Spotted Orchids, Eyebright and Field Scabious, the best time to see the wildflowers in full swing is during the summer months. 

To find out more about the volunteering opportunities with Findon Valley Residents’ Association and the work that they do, visit: Welcome to the FVRA (