An often over-looked beauty spot on the Hangleton/Portslade/Hove border, the Benfield Valley Nature Reserve is the last green lung in Brighton and Hove, running from 270 Old Shoreham Road to the A27 Bypass.

Most of Benfield Valley is a designated Local Wildlife Site (LWS) [1] that links our hometown to the South Downs. This stretch of green space creates a corridor, connecting wildlife from urban and rural areas.

Supporting a mosaic of habitats, Benfield Valley can meet the needs of many species. Habitats include chalk grassland, dense native scrub, mature hedgerow, semi-improved grassland with native scrub, tall ruderal vegetation, improved grassland, scattered trees, deciduous woodland, and mixed woodland [1].

As some of our wildlife requires several habitat types during their life cycle [2], this site is critical for creating and maintaining biodiversity.

Walking around the reserve, we witness a host of wildlife. Greeted by a diversity of wildflowers, insects, birds, reptiles, and mammals, it is plain to see that this site is a refuge.

Please go to the dropdown menu above to learn more about the importance of two of these habitats, chalk grasslands and deciduous woodlands.


[1] Cole, K. Benfield Valley Topic Paper. 2019. Available at: [Accessed: 30/03/21]

[2] Law BS, Dickman CR. The use of habitat mosaics by terrestrial vertebrate fauna: implications for conservation and management. Biodiversity & Conservation. 1998 Mar;7(3):323-33. Available at: [Accessed: 30/03/21]