The chalk spoil heaps on Howell Hill were created in the 1960s when the adjoining school playing fields were levelled. The area was left unmanaged for many years, but now shows a great deal of variety for such a small site.
Some 260 kinds of flowering plants have been recorded, including large colonies of mouse-eared hawkweed and kidney vetch, bee, common spotted, fragrant, pyramidal and white helleborine orchids as well as two species of broomrape.
The area supports many anthills, which provide good feeding for green woodpeckers. A variety of insects and other invertebrates occur and there are more than 20 different kind of butterfly including green hairstreak and small blue.