The chalk hills of the North Downs, overlooking Dorking town, are one of the most precious and distinctive of the local landscapes. The Downs support a fine springy turf that is to cricket and horse racing what sand dunes of St Andrews are to golf. In 1711 John Tollard described the Downs as "being covered with grass finer than a Persian carpet and perfumed with wild thyme and juniper". Cricket greens are synonymous with dozens of villages throughout the Downs, where pitches are regarded as 'a gift of nature'.
The grasslands of the Downs are one of the area's most attractive semi-natural grassland communities where lack of fertility and sheep grazing has promoted species rich mixed flora. The Downs provides one of the most important places for orchids, wild flowers, herbs and mosses, together with associated insect fauna.
Downland turf has for centuries provided wonderful sheep pasture, and once supported the most famous of breeds, The Downland Sheep, renowned for the high quality of their wool. Downland Sheep was once the main source of prosperity for the whole region, supporting the wool towns of Guildford, Godalming and Farnham.
At White Downs you can find excellent chalk grassland, typical of the downs landscape. The National Trust owns and grazes much of this land.
Visitors to the Downs seek to enjoy the panoramic views from the scarp summit and admire the wealth of flora and fauna. The views from the vantage points at Box Hill and Ranmore Common, overlooking the Greensand Valley and Hills to the south, are scenes that has been extolled by lovers of the English countryside for centuries.