Bird Watching

 

BOUGH BEECH NATURE RESERVE


TEL: 01622 662012

Bough Beech Reservoir

Bough Beech Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre

 

Approximately 4 miles north west from Penshurst Village, signposted from B2027, is Bough Beech Reservoir, constructed in the late 1960’s when a peaceful farmland valley was flooded. The north end of the reservoir was declared a Nature Reserve and is managed by Kent Wildlife Trust.

A visitor centre has been created in a small 19th century oast house displaying interesting objects and information, including a mural depicting the rural history of the area over the last 10,000 years, and old hop picking photos and equipment.

The area is a good place for bird spotting where you might, amongst others, see cormorants, coots, moorhens, kestrels, sparrow hawks or great crested grebe.

There is a 1.5mile defined nature trail, ideal for children, with an illustrated map which is available from the visitor centre.

A picnic barn is provided, and also toilets, but no food is sold - so it is advisable to bring your own.

The Visitor Centre is open to the public April to October, Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays   11am until 4.30pm.

Many special events for children are held throughout the summer. Please look under ‘Events.’

Kent Wildlife Trust Tel. 01622 662012


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.