The reserve encompasses a large expanse of water which attracts a wide variety of birds and other aquatic life. The surrounding woods, fields and streams also support a rich variety of wildlife.

The reservoir was constructed in the 1960s, following the damming of the Bough Beech stream. The impact on the surrounding countryside was a major consideration, the reservoir and its surroundings were designed to blend into the landscape as far as possible.

Water is pumped into the reservoir from the River Eden during the autumn and winter. Throughout the summer the water level falls dramatically, exposing large areas of mud, ideal for feeding and roosting birds.

The expanse of water provides an important public amenity and is used by a sailing club and by anglers. However, there is a recognised need for a wildlife sanctuary and as a result, the north-east corner of the reservoir, either side of the road, is leased by the Kent Wildlife Trust. Most of the birdlife is concentrated here. As many as 65 breeding species have been identified.

Walking routes

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Bough Beech Nature Reserve
Winkhurst Green
Ide Hill
TN14 6LD

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