Our local nature reserve on the top of Whitehawk hill is under threat!

Brighton Council has plans to give a large chunk of the reserve to London property developers, The Hyde Group, splitting the reserve in two and irreparably damaging the wildlife the reserve is meant to protect, and trampling over the local community. This is part of a master plan to sell off large swaths of green space throughout the city to be concreted over by developers.

Whitehawk Hill is home to one of Britain’s rarest and richest natural habitats

Whitehawk Hill is an ancient habitat designated a Local Nature Reserve (LNR), with areas of species-rich chalk grassland supporting a diverse range of flora and fauna including rare and threatened species of butterfly, orchids and invertebrates

This ancient habitat of species-rich chalk grassland supports many rare species

The ancient chalk grassland in the reserve is internationally important - it is one of Britain's rarest and richest habitats, with threatened species including Adonis Blue butterfly and orchids.

Home to many protected species such as reptiles

The complexity of the Whitehawk Hill Nature Reserve landscape provides a home for reptiles like adders, grass snakes, slow worms and viviparous lizards.

The hill is a vital green lung and recreational space

The nature reserve s a vital green lung within the city and is a popular area for dog walking and nature spotting, with panoramic views over the city to the downs and the sea, including the Isle of Wight on a clear day

Whitehawk Camp, in the reserve, is a Scheduled Ancient Monument

Whitehawk Camp in the nature reserve, a neolithic causewayed enclosure, one of the earliest ritual circles in northern Europe, a 1000 years older than Stonehenge, and was recognised as being the first Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) in Sussex

Our Nature Reserve

Whitehawk Hill Nature Reserve is a very ancient and special place, a rare natural habitat, home to many threatened species and a vital green lung for the local community and city

One Of Britain's Rarest Natural Habitats

Ancient chalk grassland is internationally important – it is one of Britain’s rarest and richest habitats

Home To Many Rare And Threatened Species

The nature reserve support many threatened species including Adonis Blue butterfly and orchids

Vital Green Space For Local Communities

The hill is a vital green lung within the city and is a popular area for dog walking and nature spotting

The Threat

Brighton & Hove Council wants to sell a large chunk of Whitehawk Hill Nature Reserve to property developers, splitting it in two and irreperably damaging the wildlife it is meant to protect and local community

Joint Venture

Land Sale



Joint Venture

The council is going into business with property developers, the Hyde Group, to build on green spaces across the "Urban Fringe" of Brighton. One of the threatened areas is Whitehawk Hill Nature Reserve.

Land Sale

The council is planning to sell a large chunk of the nature reserve to the new joint venture, and reinvest the money in the joint venture. Time is running out to halt the sale of this precious land.


If the sale isn't stopped, the joint venture will need to submit a planning application, for 5 high-rise blocks plus a car park. Hyde are already working on the application, and resisting it would be the next battle.


The plan is to borrow up to £120 million to finance these destructive projects. City investors are already salivating over the potential profits, but organised community resistance can make it look less attractive.

Our nature reserve in pictures

Just a small section of the species and landscapes found in the reserve


Please spread the word about our events and come if you can


The latest news about our campaign

Thousands Of Reptiles Dumped on Threatened Brighton Nature Reserve

Thousands of reptiles, evicted from a local wildlife site last year to make way for ...

Council Wobbles On Destructive Development Plans - Time To Pile On The Pressure

You may have heard in 'the news' that plans to build on Whitehawk Hill Nature ...

Sussex Wildlife Trust And CPRE Sussex Support Whitehawk Hill

The Sussex Wildlife Trust and CPRE Sussex have written to Brighton & Hove Council urging ...