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8 of the prettiest Kent wildlife reserves you can enter for free

PUBLISHED: 09:58 01 August 2017

Bough Beech nature reserve (photo: Chris Moncrieff)

Bough Beech nature reserve (photo: Chris Moncrieff)

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If you are planning a staycation this summer, then why not discover the real Kent - unspoilt countryside, coastline and hidden beauty spots?

Hothfield Heathland Highland cow (photo: Richard Kinzler)Hothfield Heathland Highland cow (photo: Richard Kinzler)

Here’s just a snapshot of Kent Wildlife Trust reserves – all free to enter and enjoy.

Bough Beech

Bough Beech Visitor Centre & nature reserve at Ide Hill is one of the most celebrated birdwatching sites in the south east, thanks to its reservoir and raised causeway. It also embraces ancient woodland, orchards and nature trails. The 19th-century oast house sells gifts and light refreshments.

Sandwich & Pegwell Bay

No trip to sunny Thanet would be complete without a breather at Kent’s only ancient dune pasture with its rare flora and fauna, the Sandwich & Pegwell Bay nature reserve, now part of the splendid England Coast Path.

Romney Marsh

An award-winning centre close to the wide sandy beaches of St Mary’s Bay and the dunes of Littlestone-on-Sea, Romney Marsh Visitor Centre & nature reserve is perfectly located for a great family day out. Everything you need to know about Romney Marsh can be found here and there’s a shop with gifts and light refreshments.

Blean

Why not combine your visit to Canterbury with a trip to Kent’s largest continuous woodland, the Blean nature reserves? See if you can spot the sculptured and woven creatures on the circular wild art trail – and there’s easy access for all.

Sevenoaks

Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve & Visitor Centre is a true pioneering reserve, with beautiful lakes developed from former gravel pits and fringed with woodland and gardens. It is home to a vast array of flora and fauna (more than 2,000 species) and makes an ideal spot for summer strolls and picnics.

Lydden Temple Ewell & Old Park Hill

Lydden Temple Ewell & Old Park Hill nature reserves are perfect for a bracing walk, with stunning views across to Dover Castle and the Channel.

Hothfield Heathland & Conningbrook Lakes

Ashford’s ‘green lungs’ are great for gentle strolls, picnics and bird watching. And don’t forget to say hello to the majestic Highland cows!

Tyland Barn & Blue Bell Hill

Youngsters will love getting back to nature at the Trust’s headquarters, a 17th-century barn with ponds, gardens and meadows. Here at Tyland Barn Visitor Centre, just outside Maidstone, there’s a gift shop, art gallery and café serving snacks, ice creams and refreshments. And if you still have the energy, then Blue Bell Hill nature reserve will reward you with, arguably, the best views (and best picnic spot) in Kent.

Find out more

For further details on all these locations, please visit the Kent Wildlife Trust website

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