NEXT TWO MONTH'S MEETINGS

- 21st November - 8:15 : A Year in the Life of Mote Park.
- 12th December - 8:15 : Christmas Party - Bring a Friend.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Are we in Poland, Scotland or a Kentish Bog?



In June our DISTRICT WALK to us to HOTHFIELD HEATHLANDS NATURE RESERVE. It is one of the last ancient heathlands in England, and also contain's Kent's last 4 Valley bogs.

There are two herds of animals that help to keep the vegetation under control. First some beautiful Polish Konic Ponies, each with a black line down their spines, a velvety coat and a wonderful nature. Our leader was Mr Hall a warden who showed us the animals, insects and flora of the area.






Jean Talboys and Mr Hall with the Ponies





The second herd is of Highland Cattle - Jean Kelly getting in close





and the results from her camera.

The first of our flora was the bog cotton - you can see this part is rather wet but we had been warned to wear strong shoes


next was the yellow bog asphodel and the Heath Spotted Orchid



and the round-leaved sundew awaiting unsuspecting insects for it's prey

Southern Marsh Orchid
At this time of year it is the Orchids that draw people here-but it is such a different landscape - most of Kent seems to be cultivated or in private ownership -


here it is wild and open heath and bog.

Hothfield Heathand is owned by Ashford Borough Council and Kent Wildlife Trust - You will find it to the south side of the A20 between Charing and Ashford (on the right hand side after Charing) - There is a large layby, often a refreshment van, public toilets and a car park for the Reserve. There are display boards with maps and you can walk there at any time. Do try it , there are many unusual heathlands plants and flowers, birds, dragon flies, insect and small reptiles.