Box Hill is a summit of the North Downs in Surrey, around 30km south west of London. Famous for its sweeping panoramic views of the South of England, it has been popular with visitors since the Victorian times.
Box Hill lies within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is a Special Area of Conservation and is included in a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The north and south facing slopes support an area of chalk downland, which supports populations of bats, moths, butterflies, orchids and the hill's namesake, the box tree. It is home to many rare wild flowers and insects, including the Bee Orchid and the vibrant Adonis Blue butterfly.
About the venue
The viewing areas within the venue have been selected in cooperation with National Trust and Natural England to minimize the impact on the rare and beautiful species of plants and animals that live on the slopes of Box Hill.
The Dormouse Drive viewing area includes space both sides of the lower section of the Zig Zag road. The Butterfly Bend viewing area follows the outside of the first hairpin turn of Zig Zag road, and makes reference to the many varieties of rare butterflies found on Box Hill – some of which nest on this very corner. A ticket for Dormouse Drive provides access to both these viewing areas, and will have audio commentary of the entire race.
The Straw Belle Slope viewing area runs along the upper portion of Zig Zag road, after the second hair pin turn. This area borders sensitive grasslands that are home to a variety of rare species, including the Straw Belle moth which is classified as rare in the UK biodiversity action plan.
Finally, Donkey Green is a large, flat area at the top of Zig Zag road that will have a big screen broadcasting the entire race. Spectators with tickets to Donkey Green will have access to the Straw Belle Slope viewing area with audio commentary, as well as areas on and around Donkey Green.
During the Games
The area features prominently in the Olympic Road Cycling Road Race route, with the men completing nine laps of the Box Hill circuit and the women two laps.
Spectators with tickets for Box Hill have access to roadside viewing areas along Zig Zag Road and Donkey Green. Temporary overlay and facilities will be installed to facilitate the management of these areas, but there will be no grandstands or seating.
After the Games
The temporary overlay will be removed and Box Hill returned in the exact condition in which it was received.