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Wildlife & Nature in the Kent Downs

No matter what is happening in the world around us mother nature is always there, bringing new wonder in every single season.

We're working with local experts who can help bring the natural world to life and share their passion for our Kentish flora and fauna with you. We hope that soon you and your friends and family will be able to learn more about the wonderful wildlife around us and explain how you and future generations can help protect it from the growing danger of climate change.

Sign-up below to hear our latest news, be first to test our new experiences and receive some top tips on places to visit and explore in the meantime.

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Fancy something a bit different?

Visit this page to see all of our upcoming experience themes or choose one of the below. Scroll down to get some sneak peaks into the experiences we're developing alongside local experts and businesses.

Nature is Calling...

With many of us finding routes, trails and nature on our doorstep there has never been a better time to explore. Our experience project aims to connect local experts with budding bird-watchers, foragers and nature-enthusiasts so read on to find out what we're working on...

Exploring the Wild

Join an organised group, or arrange a private experience, and make your holiday a little wilder, or learn about the nature on your doorstep. Exploring the Wild will provide a full day, half day, early morning or evening with an experienced wildlife tour leader to identify birds, track mammals, wildflowers, trees and more.

Through the Lens

Paul Burgess is a professional photographer who runs Through the Lens Experiences. He teaches photography and organises outdoor landscape photography workshops. Through the Lens Experiences explore the Kentish landscape throughout the year, and as well as helping you to take amazing photographs, they have partnered with local producers to introduce you to some of the best food and drink that Kent has to offer.e.

Wanderful

The practice of ‘Shinrin Yoku’, (which means ‘Forest Bathing’ in English) is a key part of today's Japanese healthcare and is prescribed to treat many physical and mental health issues. It involves gently guiding participants into the heart of the woods and inviting them to immerse themselves fully in nature using all of their senses. Excitingly Wanderful want to bring this practise to the Kent Downs AONB so visitors can enjoy a deep sense of calm and renewed connection to nature and themselves.

Brockhill Country Park

Brockhill Country Park's lake, woods, meadows, picnic, play areas and excellent café make it a great spot for a family day out. The park is looking to soon offer a range of events and activities with a new focus on getting adults out and engaging with nature with a series of wildlife inspired challenges.

Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership

The Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership works closely with landowners and local communities to promote and deliver both landscape and nature conservation. Soon you could also be learning forest skills with a qualified Forest School teacher, taking photographs while exploring King’s Wood with a qualified photography teacher or taking a guided river walk and including river-dipping for mini beasts, with a Riverfly Training Officer - all including lunch!

Medway Valley Country Partnership

Medway Valley Country Partnership works with communities and local authorities as well as directly with landowners, schools and colleges, to deliver conservation aims of protecting, exploring, and enjoying the countryside. They are looking to develop a series of nature walks, bushcraft courses and conservation workshops, we can't wait!

Shorne Woods Country Park

Shorne Woods Country Park offer a program of events throughout the year and have a fantastic education team providing teaching to local school children. They are looking to develop experiences for all age groups involving their team of expert rangers and archaeologists to encourage people to spend more time outdoors.

Awesome Valley Experience

This upcoming Awesome Valley Experience will expand on the family business of Chilton Magic Garden, which aims to promote reconnection to nature. The experience will connect visitors to the local Anglo-Saxon ancestors who lived on the site over 2000 years ago. Visitors will learn about the local history and wildlife, discovering the identity of local species of trees that the Anglo-Saxons used and will have the chance to try ancient skills like coppicing, archery, wooden axe carving and throwing, bushcraft, campfire building and cookery.

Samphire Hoe

White Cliffs Countryside Partnership's purpose is to protect and enhance the wild spaces of South-East Kent by inspiring everyone to take action for the local environment and the future of our planet. They manage Samphire Hoe on behalf of the site owners, Eurotunnel. They're new experience will be a unique opportunity for small groups to have a bespoke guided talk and tour about the coastal bird life at Samphire Hoe led by a friendly knowledgeable local Ranger.

Anna's Country Flowers

Anna's Country Flowers is passionate about nature and runs a sustainable flower farm growing beautiful fragrant, local flowers with zero air miles. They want to create small group and individual workshops that take visitors on a nature journey by doing activities like foraging for items in their woodland, blossom tours of their orchard and of course trying their hand at seasonal flower arranging.

Chilton Farmyard B&B

These dairy farmers now own a small farm with rare breed Albion cattle and a B&B at Chilton Farm. Looking to create new experiences for their customers they're exploring the potential to showcase the beautiful chalk downland farm & surrounding footpaths by creating plant and tree identification walks with lunch included!

Find a nature walk near you...

With plenty of woodland, coastal and grassland spaces across the Kent Downs AONB and North Downs Way you're bound to find something to suit your nature needs. Here are a few suggestions of where you can find some of Kent's wildlife treasures.

Elham Valley Way

Elham Valley Way runs from Canterbury all the way to Hythe, near Ashford spanning 22 miles of beautiful countryside and taking you through ancient woods dating from before the 17th century. In Spring the forest floor is carpeted with bluebells, anemones and the orchards full of apple blossom. In Autumn enjoy beautiful colours of russet, orange and gold and a bounty of fruit too!

Read More at Explore Kent

Great Stour Way

Running between Canterbury and Chartham this 3 mile long traffic free multi-user route, following National Cycle Route 18, provides a beautiful and tranquil journey along the banks of the River Stour. Passing across the river and through marshes and meadows you'll enjoy river views, Kingfishers and other wildlife if you’re lucky!

Read More at Explore Kent

Samphire Hoe Easy Access Trail

Samphire Hoe is a piece of land created by Eurotunnel during the construction of the Channel Tunnel, more than 25 years ago. Follow one of two one-mile sections where you'll find a mass of wildflowers in spring and summer including rare spider orchids in April and May. Samphire Hoe is also a key site for ground-nesting meadow pipits and skylarks.

Read More at Explore Kent

Wye Downs Walk

This walk passes through Wye Nature Reserve and includes tremendous views over the Devil’s Kneading Trough – the largest and most famous of the steep-sided dry valleys that characterise the hills of the Downs. And is home to an abundance of wildlife, including several rare moths, insects and orchids that are important for national and international conservation efforts.

Read More at Explore Kent

Even More Active Inspiration

We're working with Explore Kent and other partners to promote some of the local routes that you can follow for an extra dose of natural fun and learning in the wonderful Kent countryside. For now you can visit our activity page or take a look at the below to help you find places near you to explore with your family...

Explore Kent

Discover 100's of pre-planned routes suitable for all abilities and activities with full information including route description, distance, parking locations, travel options and of course downloadable maps!

Cycling UK

Full of information, advice and of course all important cycling routes across the UK. Connect with them and cyclists of all abilities and plan your next trip on 2 wheels.

North Downs Way

With not 1 but 2 National Trails in Kent, the North Downs Way and England Coast Path, you're bound to find something to tickle your outdoor tastebuds. Plan your own itinerary and book some time for some of Kent's top attractions and perhaps a pub or 2 along the way.

Visit Kent

The place to visit to find some of Kent's best attractions, local events, taste sensations and of course featuring all of the best and beautiful locations across our favourite county. You'll find inspiration and information to help make your next visit easy.

Please Visit Safely

We want you to have a great time in the great outdoors so please see below for some top tips and advice to ensure your visit is safe and countryside-friendly...

  • Remember the Countryside Code
  • Check opening times and facilities before you go
  • Follow the latest Government Covid guidance
  • Take extra care on the coast
  • Access our public rights of way network
  • Make your trip sustainable

    The Kent Downs and North Downs Way is well connected by rail, bike and bus and you won't need to worry about finding a parking space either. Here are a few tips...

  • Go by Train, Southeastern have some handy tips on travelling with confidence. Click Here
  • Buy a family Discovery Bus Ticket for all day travel across the county and beyond. Click Here
  • Get on your bike, it's great exercise and environmentally friendly too. Find out more from Cycling UK.
  • Visit Kent Connected to find the best ways to travel for you and the environment. Click Here.
  • For more information on low impact travel to the Kent Downs Click Here.
  • You might also like...

    Sign-up to receive information about multiple Kent experience themes by completing our survey or choose your favourite below...

    Family Fun

    Reconnect with the outdoors and your favourite people with family focussed activities.

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    Farming & Animals

    Visit a local farm, boost your nature knowledge, learn new skills and make memories.

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    Arts & Crafts

    Find your inner artist and share in the passion and knowledge of local experts.

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    Pilgrimage

    Tread in the footsteps of Pilgrims as we take you on a journey of self-discovery.

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    Outdoor Activities

    Blow away the cobwebs in our gorgeous woodlands, grasslands and coastline.

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    Wellbeing

    Escape for some rest and relaxation in some of Kent's most beautiful places.

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    Culture & Heritage

    Learn about Kent's heritage and visit some of the iconic locations that shaped our county.

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    Food & Drink

    Discover new tastes and treats from wonderful artisans across the county.

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    Help us build experiences...

    Do you have an activity or business along our routes that you'd like to promote to Walkers and Cyclists? We have a package of support and help available so please get in touch.

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