The reserve has a large population of the rare pasque flower and several other rare plants are present in the downland, including greater pignut and fleawort. There is also a range of characteristic chalk grassland plants such as wild thyme, horseshoe vetch, marjoram and rockrose, and a good show of orchids in summer.
Butterflies are a feature of the site with large numbers of chalkhill blue, marbled white and grizzled skipper. An interesting feature is the occurrence of springs and a chalk stream at the foot of the valley. The best time to visit the reserve is between April and August, with the pasque flower in bloom between April and early June
There is an attractive level walk along Barton Brook on unsurfaced paths. Other than that, Barton is very hilly and there are steep gradients.
Facilities & accessibility
Paths. Leaflets and information panels. No car park or toilet.