Samphire Hoe is a new piece of land created by Eurotunnel during the construction of the Channel Tunnel.
It covers a 30-hectare site at the foot of the famous Shakespeare Cliff, between Dover and Folkestone (Kent).
There is something here for everyone who enjoys the outdoors and wildlife: a stunning location and outstanding scenery, peace and quiet, walks, wildflowers, birds, sea angling and picnics. And the further you go from the car park, the wilder the site becomes. This tranquil setting never fails to impress, with many visitors coming back time and time again. In 2017, around 100,000 visitors explored the nature reserve.
Samphire Hoe is a great place for wildlife. It is home to more than 200 species of plants (including the rare early spider orchid with over 5,000 plants recorded in 2017), 123 species of birds and 30 of butterflies have been recorded.
Half of the Hoe was sown with wildflower seeds. This consisted of five mixes totalling 31 species, designed to suit the different conditions on the site. The rest of the site was planted with annual rye grass. This has since died out allowing plants from the surrounding areas to colonise. This newly developed vegetation has attracted a wide variety of wildlife.
Most of the Hoe is accessible for wheelchair and pushchairs and there is a recommended route sign posted “Front path” and “West shore”.
The site office provides a tea kiosk, which is open every weekend of the year and most days from Easter to September. There are toilet facilities, a RADAR based disabled access toilet and a baby changing room.
Staff and volunteers are present to answer questions. There are also free leaflets, an information board and panels with the latest wildlife sightings.