Walks within the Penshurst Area

Broadwater Warren Nature Reserve, Groombridge


View Map

Distance 2.25 miles.

Directions and Parking  Take the B2110 to Groombridge, at the roundabout take the turning signed to the station and stay on this road over the bridge and into a woodland area. Pass 2 gates on your right, which are gates into the Reserve but continue until you reach the third gate where proper car parking is available.

Broadwater Warren
Broadwater Warren Nature Reserve opened in May 2009. Owned by the RSPB, it covers 445 acres and is a remnant of one of the four medieval hunting forests of the High Weald Forest Ridge within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The gates to the car park are open 7am to 7pm and there is a main nature trail for visitors to follow. This is a ‘quiet enjoyment site’ so there is no visitor centre, no toilets and no cycling. Some hacking is allowed by special permit from RSPB.

The main trail is 2.25miles long, simply follow the white arrows, but as you will see from the plan there are many paths you can follow. You leave the car park and then turn right onto a main track that is wide and flat, but can be muddy. Soon you can see heather plants alongside the path. The land either side was once sunny heathland where heather could thrive, but this was destroyed when conifers were planted. The RSPB will restore much of the heathland and expect woodlarks to return Broadwater Warren bird sightings board

After 200 metres you will reach the nightjar viewpoint which will be the perfect spot to sit at dusk and listen to these rare migratory birds. They return in spring from Africa to their breeding sites on heaths. Their night time song sounds like a fishing reel interspersed with a clap of their wings as they strike them together.

As you continue, look out for big mounds made by wood ants. The track continues to a crossroads where in the future a panorama will be opened up allowing views of one of England’s finest landscapes, the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.Broadwater Warren

The trail turns right to a pond which it is planned will be enlarged to allow pondlife to flourish. Head up the slope and with a sweet chestnut coppice on your left you might find chestnuts in winter to roast.

Another right turn leads up to a 200-year-old veteran oak. In spring and summer you may hear chiffchaffs and blackcaps.

Although you are unlikely to see any, as it has been thoroughly checked, the land was once used by the MOD so please do not handle, or allow children to handle, any strange objects.