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Chub Hill Natural Area Preserve photo of long leaf sapling and fire
© DCR-DNH, Gary P. Fleming, ©DCR-DNH, Kevin Heffernan

Chub Sandhill Natural Area Preserve

This preserve features a series of low sandhills, sandy upland flats and adjacent riparian wetlands along the Nottoway River. While most, perhaps all, of the upland vegetation at the preserve has been altered from its pre-settlement condition, the site still supports rare Sandhill plant species including Queen's-delight (Stillingia sylvatica), Golden puccoon (Lithospermum caroliniense), and hoary scurf-pea (Pediomelum canescens). Sand post oak (Quercus margarettiae), unusual in Virginia, occurs in the dry sandy woodlands, as do a remarkable number of native legumes. Frequent fires historically occurred here, maintaining the upland communities at the northern range extent of the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem.

Since 1998, DCR's natural areas stewards have been applying prescribed fire to reduce woody plants and enhance herbaceous groundcover vegetation. In 2007, DCR began reintroducing longleaf pine to Chub Sandhill Natural Area Preserve. To date (2015), about 230 acres of upland loblolly pine forest and old fields at Chub Sandhill have been restored to young longleaf pine communities using a combination of site preparation, tree removal, prescribed burning and planting with containerized northern-range "native" longleaf pine seedlings grown from seeds collected at DCR's South Quay Sandhills Natural Area Preserve.

Public access facilities are open during daylight hours and include a parking area, walking trail and riverside wildlife observation platform.

A preserve guide factsheet and map are available to assist in planning your visit.

Part or all of the preserve may be periodically closed for resource protection or prescribed burning activities. Please call before visiting.

1066 acres
Darren Loomis, Southeast Region Steward
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Division of Natural Heritage
Suffolk, VA
(757) 925-2318.