We’ve set out some simple steps to help you Respect, Protect and Enjoy nature in the Kent Downs

A group of walkers walking in the Kent countryside

Follow the Countryside Code

The Countryside Code sets out how visitors to rural areas can behave safely and responsibly, for example:

  • Keep dogs under control and in sight
  • Take your litter home
  • Leave gates as you find them
  • Don’t light fires or barbecues.

Read the full Countryside Code

public-footpath-sign-church-kemsing

Explore Kent’s Public Rights of Way Network

With over 7,000 km of public rights of way to explore in Kent, you are never far from green space and can more easily get away from the crowds. The network is often signposted and always mapped so you shouldn’t get lost and you’ll know what other types of users to expect along the way.

Tips on exploring Kent’s Public Rights of Way

White Cliffs Walking Gate

Check before you go

If you’re planning to visit a managed site, it’s worth checking with the organisation who manages the site before you travel. Most sites no longer require advance booking but you can check the latest visitor information using the links below.

The main organisations who manage sites in and around the AONB are:

Take extra care on the coast

Please take extra care if visiting coasts or beaches and note there may not be an  RNLI lifeguard. Please always follow RNLI guidance on coastal safety:

  • Check tide times and the weather forecast before you travel
  • Take care near cliffs – know your route and your limitations
  • Have a plan – check the weather forecast and tide times
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, float to live. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float
  • If boating, ensure your equipment is functioning and maintained
  • In any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Please also note that beach toilets and changing facilities may be closed.

Travel sustainably

If you can, travel by foot or bike, while maintaining social distancing. This means you’ll have a chance to experience our wonderful AONB as you travel, and you won’t have to worry about finding a car parking space.

Support our rural communities and farmers

The Kent Downs AONB is nearly 70% farmland. You can support farmers and our communities by sticking to the path, keeping dogs on the lead around livestock, not picnicing on private land and taking your litter home.

Support local

Many rural businesses are now open for takeaways and online deliveries and we encourage you to shop with them. Visit Produced in Kent for a range of wonderful local producers and businesses delivering local produce and services and follow #helpkentbuylocal for updates.

Stay Connected

Tag us in your photos @KentDownsAONB and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the hashtags #kentdownsaonb #kentdowns. We’d love to see your photos and we’ll be sharing photos of the landscape you love – the wildlife, the trees, the views, the cliffs, the rivers, the wildflowers and more.

Contacting us

In accordance with latest Government guidance the Kent Downs AONB team are working remotely and will not be available on our usual office number. If you would like to contact us please email the relevant team member directly. Alternatively, email us mail@kentdowns.org.uk and we will respond to you as soon as we are able.

Goldfinch bird

Enjoy nature from your home

Nature can be a wonderful solace in times of crisis and uncertainty, here are some ideas for how you can remain connected with nature even if you are isolating at home.

Garden Birdwatching

Get to know the birds outside your window with bird identification from RSPB

Nature activities for kids

The Wildlife Trusts have some great ideas for nature-based activities including making a bird feeder, a mini nature reserve, and making a butterfly painting.

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