Woodland Trust to create new woodland
More excellent news for the Blean Woods Complex.
Following the purchase of Thornden and West Blean Woods, and Joan Beech
Woods by the Kent Wildlife Trust earlier this year, the Woodland Trust
have now announced that they are seeking to purchase Lamberhurst Farm.
They are proposing to return the majority of this arable land to woodland.
The area was put forward as a landfill site a few years ago and so it must
be particularly satisfying for local residents who successfully opposed
this development. The area is 350 acres (140 ha) located in the parishes
of Hernhill and Dunkirk, with the nearest town being Whitstable. The
woodland will link Blean Wood with Ellenden Wood. The Trust has launched a
fundraising appeal see www.woodland-trust.org.uk
UK Biodiversity Group visit the Great Stour
KSCP helped to host the UK Biodiversity Action Plan
Steering Group for Chalk Rivers, the first time the group had met in Kent.
The day was divided, with the morning spent listening to a variety of
guest speakers and the afternoon a site visit to the Great Stour at
Godinton Park. The group looked at chalk river enhancements to the
riparian land and river habitat. The day was a great success for all
involved and has no doubt helped to put the Kentish Stour on the map.
Following on from this the Environment Agency organised
a days training in Crayfish ecology and surveying techniques which was
again held at Godinton Park. This location is thought to be one of the
best sites in Kent for native white-claw crayfish, and therefore made an
ideal location for training. The training day was run by the country’s
leading authority on crayfish Stephanie Peay, whose knowledge and
enthusiasm couldn’t fail to rub off on all present. It also gave KSCP
the opportunity to highlight the work we have been doing along the Stour
to improve river habitat.
Good signs at Clowes Wood
A single heath fritillary butterfly was seen along one
of the rides where work took place last year in Clowes Wood, near
Chestfield. The ride now has a large amount of common cow-wheat, the food
plant of the heath fritillary, so let's hope that next year we might have
a new colony at this location. The heath fritillary is one of the
country's rarest butterflies and the Blean Woods Complex is the stronghold
Friends of King's Wood March on….
Thanks to funding from Ashford Community Grants and KSCP
Interreg (EU), two new ponds have been created deep within the forest.
Judging by how quickly the last pond was populated by amphibians the new
ponds are sure to be a success. In addition to the ponds, the grant money
has paid for the erection of 10 owl boxes which have been put up around
the forest. An activity and membership flyer was produced and a full
colour information leaflet on King's wood will be ready for distribution
soon. Membership continues to rise and has broken the 200 mark, well done
to all the committee for their hard work.
Help clean up the Garden
Earlier this year Kent County Council launched a
campaign to clean up Kent. The campaign targets fly-tippers and litter
louts who can make life a misery for law-abiding residents. The Campaign
is a partnership between Kent police, magistrates, district and parish
councils, the Environment Agency and others who want to stop the constant
littering and fly tipping in the Garden of England. The KSCP have been
doing their bit at a number of sites including Old Park and Whitehall
Meadows in Canterbury
If you spot someone fly-tipping, do not approach them.
Note the type of vehicle and registration number, what the person looks
like, the time and the place and call your local council - Ashford 01233
330535, Canterbury 0800 0319091. If the waste looks hazardous call the
Environment Agency's 24 hour hotline on 0800 807060.
Giant Toadstools spotted at School…
Over a 2 week period bright red and white spotted
toadstools started to appear all over the grounds of the Caldecott
College. After initial concern for the safety of the students, the all
clear was sounded as it soon dawned that it was the work of the KSCP
volunteers! A wonderful wetland education area has been developed, as well
as huge amounts of wildflower meadow, tree and hedge planting. The
toadstools are in fact for sitting on. The £80,000 project has been
funded by Brett Environment Trust and Rail Link Countryside Initiative,
with some of the work carried out by students and volunteers. If that wasn’t
enough a second grant application is being prepared to extend the wildlife
habitat around the school.
KSCP Countryside Grants Scheme
Last year the KSCP offered 21 grants for landscape and
wildlife habitat improvements. The grants resulted in 3840m of hedge being
planted, 12 ponds being created and 4 de-silted, and 2 ha of new
wildflower meadow. The average grant was about £1000 and the average
project cost £3000. Eight of the grants were given to farmers, 3 to
community groups and the rest to people owning small areas of land. If you
have an idea on how to improve your land for wildlife and would like
advice then please contact the KSCP. The grant scheme is funded by
Interreg (EU) and the Countryside Agency.
What is Kent's County Flower?
'County Flowers' has been a two-year project of
Plantlife to identify a wild flower for every county in the UK. It is
perhaps not a surprise that the bluebell was disqualified because it was
so popular. People voted for the hop as Kent's flower. To find out other
county flowers visit www.plantlife.org.uk What would be the flower for
Ashford Canterbury and Sandwich? The lizard orchid might represent
Sandwich as the colony at Sandwich Bay is the largest in the UK.
Canterbury's flower could be the lady orchid as Kent is the stronghold for
this plant and in Kent it's most abundant in the woods of the Canterbury
downs, or perhaps it should be the naturalised Canterbury bells. Ashford's
could be the round leaved sundew as although it's certainly not common, as
it is in some upland areas, at Hothfield Common it is the last place in
Kent where it is found in any number. Or sticking with the orchid theme,
as Kent is the county of orchids, perhaps Ashford should have the man
orchid as its flower, as this orchid has its stronghold in Kent and it is
probably most populous on the downs in the Ashford area. What do you think
should be the flower of your district, town or parish or is there one
The enchanting and ghostly appearance at dusk of the
barn owl hunting low along the River Great Stour is a sight that can be
seen more frequently, thanks to the barn owl nesting boxes erected by the
KSCP volunteers. This is the second year that the boxes have been
monitored, with the help of leading expert Colin Sawyer. Three of the
boxes had broods of barn owls, a further three boxes had eggs which
unfortunately had been abandoned. One brood had five chicks, which is
reportedly the joint largest brood this year in all the monitored boxes in
the country! A true parliament of owls… Thanks go to the Environment
Agency for funding the boxes, landowners for allowing the boxes to be
located on their land and the volunteers for doing the hard bit erecting
Further heathland and bog restoration at Hothfield
Ashford Borough Council and the Kent Wildlife Trust
recently secured a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant for Hothfield Common
of £120,000. This grant will support a five year project to restore the
rare heathland and bog habitats and to improve access for
site users. Hothfield Common is Kent's last surviving valley bog and one
of its few remaining heathlands. Further info from Kent Wildlife Trust
Lizards on the move!
Ashford's Millennium Woodland on Singleton Hill has
recently become a 'receptor' site for reptiles
translocated from the Ashford Barracks development.
The reptiles translocated were slow worms, grass snakes and
common lizards. Their numbers will be monitored and we wish them the
best of luck settling into their new home! Further info
from Lucy Monhemius at Ashford Borough Council 01233 330621
Congratulations to the people of Challock!
Challock has been named overall winner of the Kent
Village of the Year Competition. The award is given for community life,
rural business development and care for the environment. Parish Council
Chairman Amanda Cottrell said '' This is not for chocolate-box beauty but
for being the best rural community and it is a public thank you for the
dozens who do so much for the village''. Challock now goes forward to the
Did you know?
Recent research in Germany has shown that urban noise
can force nightingales to sing so loudly that they break European sound
pollution regulations! (J. Animal Ecology