Nature reserve

view of Cheltenham town from Leckhampton Hill
Cheltenham map and guide

Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common lie within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The main aspect of the hill is clearly visible from many parts of Cheltenham . The hill has, therefore, become a cherished landscape feature and recreational area for many of the town's residents and visitors.

Location

Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common lie to the south and south east of Cheltenham. Parking is available at Daisybank Road off Leckhampton Road and at Hartley Lane near the hill top. View the location on Google maps.

Site

Areas on Leckhampton Hill have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the biological interest of the unimproved calcareous grassland and for its geological exposures. Historical features on the hill include an Iron Age hillfort and long barrow. Old tramways criss-cross the hill from the days of limestone quarrying and the remains of kilns and quarries are still very much in evidence.

Wildlife

The hill supports a wealth of wildlife including small mammals - foxes, stoats, badgers and rabbits - and reptiles. Butterfly species include the Duke of Burgundy, Dark Green Fritillary, and Pearl Bordered Fritillary and there is extensive birdlife - buzzards and kestrels are regularly seen and a pair of red kites was reported in the summer of 2004 by a local paraglider. The hill is also home to a great array of wild flowers including many varieties of orchid - among others, the Early Purple, Common Spotted, Musk, Butterfly, Fly and Bee orchids.

We would like to gather more information about the wildlife that visits our parks and open spaces and we are linked up with the Gloucestershire Environmental Records Centre. If you would like to record any sighting of wildlife which you have seen during your visit please visit the link above.

Management plan

We want to maintain the cherished landscapes and the important biological, geophysical and historical interests on Leckhampton Hill, including Charlton Kings Common and the Daisy Bank Fields. To achieve this goal, we commissioned a management plan in 2002 which will guide the future management of the hill.

Conservation work parties

The Friends of Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common have regular conservation work parties on the second Thursday and fourth Sunday of every month. These are attended by the council's community rangers, and volunteers carry out varied work on the hill in line with the management plan. Meet at the Daisy Bank Road car park at 9.30am. For more information please contact the community rangers.