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List of local nature reserves in Kent facts for kids

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Kent is a county in the south-eastern corner of England. It is bounded to the north by Greater London and the Thames Estuary, to the west by Sussex and Surrey, and to the south and east by the English channel and the North Sea. The county town is Maidstone. It is governed by Kent County Council, with twelve district councils, Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Gravesham, Maidstone, Thanet, Tonbridge and Malling and Tunbridge Wells. Medway is a separate unitary authority. The chalk hills of the North Downs run from east to west through the county, with the wooded Weald to the south. The coastline is alternately flat and cliff-lined.

Local nature reserves are designated by local authorities under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The local authority must have legal control over the site, by owning or leasing it or having an agreement with the owner. Local nature reserves are sites which have a special local interest either biologically or geologically. Local authorities have a duty to care for them and can apply local bye-laws to manage and protect them.

As of May 2018, there are 42 local nature reserves in the county. Thirteen are Sites of Special Scientific Interest, five are Ramsar internationally important wetland sites, three are Nature Conservation Review sites, five are Special Protection Areas under the European Union Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds, two are Special Areas of Conservation, one is a Geological Conservation Review site, one includes a scheduled monument, one is a national nature reserve, five are managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust and one is owned by Plantlife.


Other classifications


Site Photograph Area Location Borough Other classifications Map Details Description
Ambley Wood Ambley Wood 14.0 hectares
(35 acres)
51°21′40″N 0°34′23″E / 51.361°N 0.573°E / 51.361; 0.573 (Ambley Wood)
Medway Map Details The site has ancient woodland with typical woodland flora.
Ashford Community Woodland Ashford Community Woodland 13.8 hectares
(34 acres)
51°08′10″N 0°50′02″E / 51.136°N 0.834°E / 51.136; 0.834 (Ashford Community Woodland)
Ashford Map Details

Most of this broadleaf wood was planted in 1985, and there is also rough grassland and scrub. Birds include the endangered skylark and yellowhammer and there butterflies such as marbled whites and small skippers.

Ashford Green Corridors Ashford Green Corridors 47.4 hectares
(117 acres)
51°08′28″N 0°52′30″E / 51.141°N 0.875°E / 51.141; 0.875 (Ashford Green Corridors)
Ashford Map Details This site has a lake, ponds, pollarded trees, a meadow and parkland. Birds on Singleton Lake include kingfishers.
Barnett's Wood Barnett's Wood 12.4 hectares
(31 acres)
Tunbridge Wells
51°09′29″N 0°16′41″E / 51.158°N 0.278°E / 51.158; 0.278 (Barnett's Wood)
Tunbridge Wells Map Details This site has ancient, semi-natural woodland and unimproved grassland. The meadows are grazed by cattle, and wildflowers include bird's-foot trefoil, common spotted orchid, cuckooflower, sneezewort, oxeye daisy and common knapweed.
Baty's Marsh Baty's Marsh 10.4 hectares
(26 acres)
51°22′37″N 0°29′02″E / 51.377°N 0.484°E / 51.377; 0.484 (Baty's Marsh)
Medway Map Details This is one of the few remaining salt marshes in the Medway area, and it has a rich fauna, especially wading birds.
Berengrave Chalk Pit Berengrave Chalk Pit 9.5 hectares
(23 acres)
51°22′23″N 0°36′47″E / 51.373°N 0.613°E / 51.373; 0.613 (Berengrave Chalk Pit)
Medway Map Details There is a small lake in a disused chalk pit, and other habitats are scrub, woodland and reedbeds, which flood an area of willow carr.
Bishopstone Cliffs Bishopstone Cliffs 67.4 hectares
(167 acres)
Herne Bay
51°22′34″N 1°10′37″E / 51.376°N 1.177°E / 51.376; 1.177 (Bishopstone Cliffs)
Canterbury Ramsar, SPA, SSSI Map Details This is a grassland site on the top of cliffs, and it has some rare insect species. Sand martins nest in holes in the cliffs, and other birds include skylarks, meadow pipits and corn buntings.
Boxley Warren Boxley Warren 83.0 hectares
(205 acres)
51°18′54″N 0°31′37″E / 51.315°N 0.527°E / 51.315; 0.527 (Boxley Warren)
Maidstone SAC, SM, SSSI Map Details This site is yew woodland with a diverse fauna and flora. It includes the White Horse Stone, a Neolithic standing stone which is a scheduled monument.
Bus Company Island Bus Company Island 1.1 hectares
(2.7 acres)
51°16′59″N 1°04′48″E / 51.283°N 1.080°E / 51.283; 1.080 (Bus Company Island)
Canterbury Map Details This is important as a reptile monitoring site. It was formerly a watermill, and then a bus park. It is now a meadow and orchard.
Crane Valley Crane Valley 0.8 hectares
(2.0 acres)
51°05′35″N 0°31′55″E / 51.093°N 0.532°E / 51.093; 0.532 (Crane Valley)
Tunbridge Wells Map Details Much of this site is wet woodland with lush vegetation, including the locally rare large bitter-cress. There is semi-natural woodland in drier areas, with oak, hornbeam and field maple.
Curtis Wood Curtis Wood 5.3 hectares
(13 acres)
Herne Bay
51°20′42″N 1°07′37″E / 51.345°N 1.127°E / 51.345; 1.127 (Curtis Wood)
Canterbury Map Details This wood has a diverse ground flora including early purple and greater butterfly orchids. There is also a semi-improved meadow.
Darland Banks Darland Banks 29.1 hectares
(72 acres)
51°21′43″N 0°33′54″E / 51.362°N 0.565°E / 51.362; 0.565 (Darland Banks)
Medway KWT Map Details This area of grassland, scrub and woodland has diverse fauna and flora, including the largest population of man orchids in Britain. There are birds such as willow warbler, yellowhammer, linnet and lesser whitethroat.
Ditton Quarry Ditton Quarry 5.6 hectares
(14 acres)
51°17′28″N 0°27′29″E / 51.291°N 0.458°E / 51.291; 0.458 (Ditton Quarry)
Tonbridge and Malling Map Details This former quarry has grassland and scrub, with diverse fauna including butterflies, foxes, rabbits, frogs, toads and newts. The meadow is rich in wild flowers.
Dryhill Dryhill 9.4 hectares
(23 acres)
51°16′34″N 0°08′56″E / 51.276°N 0.149°E / 51.276; 0.149 (Dryhill)
Sevenoaks GCR, SSSI Map Details This former quarry exposes rocks dating to the Aptian stage in the early Cretaceous, around 120 million years ago. It is famous for its rich and diverse brachiopod and bivalve fossils, which are important for palaeoecological research.
Farningham Wood Farningham Wood 69.3 hectares
(171 acres)
51°23′28″N 0°12′43″E / 51.391°N 0.212°E / 51.391; 0.212 (Farningham Wood)
Sevenoaks SSSI Map Details This wood has a variety of soil conditions, resulting in a diverse ground flora and invertebrates, some of which are typical of ancient woodland. Ponds in the middle support several species of amphibian, and the nationally rare hoverfly volucella inanis has been recorded on the site.
Foal Hurst Wood Foal Hurst Wood 12.9 hectares
(32 acres)
Paddock Wood
51°10′19″N 0°22′23″E / 51.172°N 0.373°E / 51.172; 0.373 (Foal Hurst Wood)
Tunbridge Wells Map Details This site is mainly coppiced woodland and there is grassland at the northern end. Birds include green and great spotted woodpeckers, and there are flora such as orchids.
Folkestone Warren Folkestone Warren 83.6 hectares
(207 acres)
51°05′28″N 1°12′11″E / 51.091°N 1.203°E / 51.091; 1.203 (Folkestone Warren)
Folkestone and Hythe SSSI Map Details These chalk cliffs have several nationally rare plants and they provide a location for cliff nesting and wintering birds. The SSSI also contains two internationally important reference sites for study of the Cretaceous period.
Foxburrow Wood Foxburrow Wood 6.1 hectares
(15 acres)
51°21′00″N 0°35′56″E / 51.350°N 0.599°E / 51.350; 0.599 (Foxburrow Wood)
Medway Map Details This is a remnant of a much larger historic wood, and it has flora which are indicators of ancient woodland such as herb paris and bluebells.
Foxes Cross Bottom Foxes Cross Bottom 4.0 hectares
(9.9 acres)
51°19′55″N 1°00′11″E / 51.332°N 1.003°E / 51.332; 1.003 (Foxes Cross Bottom)
Canterbury Map Details This site has diverse habitats of grassland, scrub, broadleaved woodland, ponds, ditches and hedges. The meadows are grazed by ponies and highland cattle.
Haysden Country Park Haysden Country Park 64 hectares
(160 acres)
51°11′31″N 0°14′49″E / 51.192°N 0.247°E / 51.192; 0.247 (Haysden Country Park)
Tonbridge and Malling Not
Details The River Medway goes through this site and there are two lakes. Other habitats are marshes, woods and grassland, and flora include Dyer's Greenweed and narrow leaved water dropwort.
High Meadow High Meadow 21.3 hectares
(53 acres)
51°07′44″N 1°17′20″E / 51.129°N 1.289°E / 51.129; 1.289 (High Meadow)
Dover Map Details This hilltop meadow has views in all directions. It is grazed by konik horses, which help to preserve the variety of plants and animals. Flora include fragrant, common spotted and pyramidal orchids.
Hilbert Woods Hilbert Woods 14.3 hectares
(35 acres)
Tunbridge Wells
51°08′35″N 0°16′34″E / 51.143°N 0.276°E / 51.143; 0.276 (Hilbert Woods)
Tunbridge Wells Map Details This gently sloping wood has oak, hazel and beech on the dry upper slopes, and alder on lower and wetter areas running down to a stream. The insect fauna is rich and diverse, including rare species.
Hothfield Common Hothfield Common 56.6 hectares
(140 acres)
51°10′41″N 0°48′50″E / 51.178°N 0.814°E / 51.178; 0.814 (Hothfield Common)
Ashford KWT, SSSI Map Details This site has areas of heath and the best valley bog in the county, both habitats which are uncommon in Kent. Over a thousand insect species have been recorded, several of which are nationally rare, such as the bee Lasioglossum semilucens and the cranefly Tipula holoptera.
Jumping Downs Jumping Downs 5.7 hectares
(14 acres)
51°11′38″N 1°08′10″E / 51.194°N 1.136°E / 51.194; 1.136 (Jumping Downs)
Canterbury Map Details Adders, viviparous lizards and slow worms have been recorded on this chalk downland site. Mammals include wood mice and pygmy shrews.
Larkey Valley Wood Larkey Valley Woods 44.4 hectares
(110 acres)
51°15′25″N 1°02′38″E / 51.257°N 1.044°E / 51.257; 1.044 (Larkey Valley Wood)
Canterbury SSSI Map Details This wood has a diverse ground flora with some uncommon plants and many breeding birds, such as tree pipits, nuthatches and hawfinches. Flora include the scarce lady orchid.
Levan Strice Levan Strice 2.8 hectares
(6.9 acres)
51°20′38″N 0°35′10″E / 51.344°N 0.586°E / 51.344; 0.586 (Levan Strice)
Medway Map Details This site is a fragment of ancient woodland and associated flora surrounded by houses.
No Man's Orchard No Man's Orchard 4.1 hectares
(10 acres)
51°16′30″N 1°01′16″E / 51.275°N 1.021°E / 51.275; 1.021 (No Mans Orchard)
Canterbury Map Details "No man's land" means an area which straddles two areas of ownership, in this case the boundary between the parishes of Chartham and Harbledown. It is one of the few remaining traditional orchards in the Stour Valley.
Oare Marshes Oare Marshes 71.4 hectares
(176 acres)
51°20′38″N 0°53′10″E / 51.344°N 0.886°E / 51.344; 0.886 (Oare Marshes)
Swale KWT, NCR, NNR, Ramsar, SPA SSSI Map Details This site has salt marshes, fresh water dykes and reed beds. It is of international importance for migratory, overwintering and breeding wetland birds, such as avocets, marsh harriers and shovelers.
Poulton Wood Poulton Wood 10.2 hectares
(25 acres)
51°05′24″N 0°56′13″E / 51.090°N 0.937°E / 51.090; 0.937 (Poulton Wood, Aldington)
Ashford Map Details This is a woodland of coppiced oak, hornbeam and ash, and spring flowers include bluebells. It is managed as a conservation project providing training in subjects such as coppice management and woodcrafts.
Prince's Beachlands Prince's Beachlands 6.0 hectares
(15 acres)
51°17′56″N 1°22′26″E / 51.299°N 1.374°E / 51.299; 1.374 (Prince's Beachlands)
Dover KWT, NCR, Ramsar, SAC, SPA, SSSI Map Details This site has diverse habitats and it is internationally important for its seabirds. It is also notable for its butterflies, fungi and reptiles.
Queendown Warren Queendown Warren 22.2 hectares
(55 acres)
51°20′10″N 0°37′23″E / 51.336°N 0.623°E / 51.336; 0.623 (Queendown Warren)
Swale KWT, NCR, Plantlife, SAC, SSSI Map Details This site has dry grassland and woodland on a south facing slope. It has two rare plants, early spider orchid and meadow clary, and a rich variety of insects.
Rede Common
Rede Common - - 1053591
11.2 hectares Strood




Strood Details Known locally as Sandy Banks due to the underlying geology of sandstone, Rede Common was formerly farmland used for grazing, arable and market gardening and is now an area of open acid grasslands surrounded by scrub and trees.
Rectory Meadow Rectory Meadow 2.2 hectares
(5.4 acres)
51°23′35″N 0°18′11″E / 51.393°N 0.303°E / 51.393; 0.303 (Rectory Meadow)
Dartford Map Details This site has chalk grassland and woodland. 193 species of flora have been recorded, including man orchids and cornflowers.
River Len River Len 1.7 hectares
(4.2 acres)
51°16′16″N 0°31′59″E / 51.271°N 0.533°E / 51.271; 0.533 (River Len)
Maidstone Map Details This small site in an urban area next the River Len has some uncommon species such as water voles and soldier beetles.
Romney Warren Romney Warren 10.9 hectares
(27 acres)
New Romney
50°59′49″N 0°57′36″E / 50.997°N 0.960°E / 50.997; 0.960 (Romney Warren)
Folkestone and Hythe KWT, Ramsar, SSSI Map Details This site is formed from ancient sand dunes which have been left behind as the sea has retreated over the last two thousand years, and it has plants such as sea spurrey. There are also ponds left by gravel extraction, some permanent and others which dry out in the summer.
Seasalter Levels Seasalter Levels 71.4 hectares
(176 acres)
51°20′17″N 0°59′28″E / 51.338°N 0.991°E / 51.338; 0.991 (Seasalter Levels)
Canterbury Ramsar, SPA, SSSI Map Details This freshwater grazing marsh is important for wildfowl and wading birds such as wigeons, redshanks, lapwings, mallards and shelducks.
South Bank of the Swale South Bank of the Swale 410.5 hectares
(1,014 acres)
51°21′00″N 0°56′17″E / 51.350°N 0.938°E / 51.350; 0.938 (South Bank of the Swale)
Canterbury KWT, Ramsar, SPA, SSSI Map Details This coastal site has wetland and grassland, with mudflats which attract a large population of waders and wildfowl in winter. Flora include yellow horned-poppies, sea-lavender, golden samphires and wild carrots.
South Wood South Wood 6.6 hectares
(16 acres)
51°20′46″N 0°33′58″E / 51.346°N 0.566°E / 51.346; 0.566 (South Wood)
Medway Map Details This wood was formerly used for timber, and it is now managed as a nature reserve. It has a population of dormice, which are rare in Britain and continental Europe.
Tyler Hill Meadow Tyler Hill Meadow 0.8 hectares
(2.0 acres)
51°18′29″N 1°03′54″E / 51.308°N 1.065°E / 51.308; 1.065 (Tyler Hill Meadow)
Canterbury Map Details The site has unimproved grassland, woodland and scrub. Reptiles include slow-worms and lizards, and eleven species of butterfly have been recorded.
Vinters Valley Park Vinters Valley Park 30.2 hectares
(75 acres)
51°16′41″N 0°32′42″E / 51.278°N 0.545°E / 51.278; 0.545 (Vinters Valley Park)
Maidstone Map Details This park has diverse habitats with grassland, woods, marshes, scrub, a lake and a stream. Birds include ducks, geese and kingfishers.
Western Heights Western Heights 51.7 hectares
(128 acres)
51°07′01″N 1°17′46″E / 51.117°N 1.296°E / 51.117; 1.296 (Western Heights)
Dover Map Details This green area surrounds Dover Western Heights, fortifications dating to the Napoleonic Wars. It consists of chalk meadows which provide a habitat for wild flowers, butterflies and birds.
Whinless Down Whinless Down 19.3 hectares
(48 acres)
51°07′37″N 1°16′48″E / 51.127°N 1.280°E / 51.127; 1.280 (Whinless Down)
Dover Map Details Dover Castle can be viewed from the down, which has rare plants such as cypress spurge, horseshoe vetch and crown vetch. There are also uncommon butterflies and moths.
Whitehall Meadows Whitehall Meadows 11.6 hectares
(29 acres)
51°16′34″N 1°03′54″E / 51.276°N 1.065°E / 51.276; 1.065 (Whitehall Meadows)
Canterbury Map Details This wet meadow has typical damp loving wildlife including snails, butterflies, damselflies, dragonflies and reptiles.
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