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Geocache clears Hurst Wood
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 20:46

Geocache HurstWood

In Hurst Wood in April Stu Adkin led a Geocache Team on a volunteering day. He had a great time, as he reports below:

'The Geocache Team  were an absolute delight to work with and there was quite a few of them - I would say around 16/17 in total throughout the duration (there were 11 to start and quite a few people just popped along or were in and out in a flash e.g. the one named Manky Badger!). Their numbers were bolstered by Peta, who also "coerced" her neighbours - The South family to attend.

All parties grafted like troopers in removing the rather defunct fence aligning the main track leading to the Dormouse sculpture. I was pleasantly surprised just how stuck in they got - I really had to insist they stop for a breather - not even the promise of tea / coffee would stop them - so I pulled the ace card and finally jam doughnuts enticed them. They soon got stuck back in though. 

It was good mix of people too, young and old. For those that lasted to the bitter end, we closed the day with a walk round the site, highlighting some of the conservational aspects.

Two reasonably young common frogs were rescued during the fence removal and a buzzard waved farewell as we were packing up. I believe fun was had by all and there was talk of a return visit in October when the Geocache world runs a similar affair. Fingers crossed it happens, I was chuffed to say the least.'

Thanks to all of you who attended. You made Stu very happy and as an HCC trustee it is really great to hear of such enthusiasic support.

 
Chilston tidy - HCC volunteer event
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Sunday, 27 November 2016 15:05

Only 1 person braved the cold and early drizzle to join Stu on this volunteer event, and that was Peta. It was a damp squib with regards to wildlife too - the only highlight being a dormant dung beetle exposed when we were digging up an old metal cylinder that was protruding rather "iffily" from the ground (very livestock unfriendly).

An old drainage pipe was also unearthed from the same excavation both items related to the nearby foundations of what was once a building. The remainder of the day was spent removing other debris e.g. bricks buried in the entrance, barbed wire strands, the lid of an oil drum and other assorted dumped items / rubbish, why do people think it is OK to leave a soiled nappy here?

As more work is still needed here Stu has agreed to return and I take the larger items to the tip and to do some general site maintenance. Hopefully there will be more people helping in the December event. Thanks to Peta and Stu for all the work they did in Chilston.

 
KSCP volunteer day - Chilston kissing gate
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Sunday, 27 November 2016 14:59

The KSCP volunteers set to work in early November to replace a stile in the Chilston Ponds site that kept getting vandelised with a kissing gate. Unfortunately the stile was rather a pickle to remove. The wooden structure came out easily as it had started to rot and was rocking, however all the posts were concreted in. Despite this the kissing gate was finally installed. We hope that this spring the lambs won't escape and the people visiting the site won't try to destroy the gate.

Many thanks to the volunteers for their help with this.

 
Lonely volunteer day
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Sunday, 23 October 2016 17:20

Ruth spent the October volunteer day alone, but managed to dig out some large rocks at the entrance to Bull Heath, fill in some of the holes and then cover the area in some wood chip that Colin had left on site a few months before.

Hopefully this will make it easier to get in and out of Bull Heath.

 
Dogfit in Bull Heath
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Saturday, 22 October 2016 19:33

In September the local dogfit group enjoyed using Bull heath had a lovely Sunday morning run a couple of weeks ago.

 
Bush Craft event September 2016
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Saturday, 22 October 2016 14:47

A very enjoyable day was had by all at the recent Heaths Countryside Corridor Family Bushcraft & Forest School Day. Six families attended where they were able to spend some valuable time enjoying the wonderful surroundings of Bull Heath, the weather was very kind- only raining when it was almost time to go home- so for the majority of the day, we were bathed in warm sunshine.

The children were delighted to discover blackberries and sandstone in abundance, and engaged in learning how to grind up the blackberries with sand to make a paste, and used this for primitive painting.

Mini den building, making habitats for woodland animals was also a very popular choice, and children individually and in groups built dens for their chosen animals.

As a whole family experience, fire making, using flint and steel, foraged materials and Kelly Kettles enabled families’ to work together, pool their resources and engage with learning some different methods of making a fire, thus enabling them to boil water for a hot drink. Willow weaving was popular, and people learnt to make willow stars, and had a go at making a willow teepee- others made medallions using slices of wood and a palm drill.

Over lunch, some children chose to relax in a hammock, while others explored the beautiful surroundings. After lunch, we made a den with natural materials, leaves, twigs and branches, foraged from the understorey.

The day finished with a hot drink, and marshmallow toasting for the children- and everyone went home exhausted from their creative day. To inspire creativity, we made some artists charcoal using the campfire - and the children were able to each take some home to use for drawing and artwork.

Written by Seb Corall www.outofourtree.org

 
Walk and Tea in Lenham Heath
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Sunday, 11 September 2016 12:42

In August Peta Maidment, a member of HCC, organised a walk along part of the Heaths Countryside Corridor walk. In total 8 local residents had an enjoyable time in both Bull Heath and Chilston Ponds, and rounded off the day with tea.

If you would be interested in organising an event in one of our sites please contact us as we might be able to fund an activity or support the event in some other way.

 
Len Valley Walks in Bull Heath
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Sunday, 11 September 2016 12:35

In July the Len Valley Walks group brought over 40 people to visit Bull Heath. They had a very enjoyable walk around the site and found a good selection of orchids and lichens. Marjorie Danby is the walk leader and should be contacted if you are interested in walking in the local area.

 
KSCP volunteer day in Hurst Wood
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Sunday, 06 March 2016 22:15

KSCP volunteers had a good day out in Hurst Wood… they removed the rabbit fence from one side of the bridle path (the one most damaged) and cleared away the overhanging branches and trees growing in the ditch.

It really opened out the bridleway as you can see.They stacked the chicken wire and posts next to the footpath entrance, and also cut back the saplings and regrowth on the grassy knoll. However, additional coppicing will have to be done on another day. Many thanks to Diane for leading this event.

 
A wet day in a Bull Heath (January)
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Friday, 22 January 2016 20:44

Written by Stu Adkin

A drizzly affair removing saplings, epicormic growth and hanging deadwood adjacent to a stretch of pathways with splendid efforts from the father and son Nixon combo, and the newcomers Alister and Raj. Habitat piles were created with the remnants. It was nice meeting Raj, his enthusiasm for volunteering was obvious and he is indeed a nice guy - particularly as he stayed behind to help give my car a little push at the gate trying to leave site - the conditions were best described as slippery. Alister regularly walks his adorable dogs on the site, being a very near neighbour and we got talking as I was surveying the site prior to the actual event. He mentioned having seen various adverts in the past and it was on his list of things to do, so naturally I encouraged him to pop along for February, but, following his dog walk, he kindly returned for an hour to lend a hand.

 
A successful day in Chilston (December)
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Friday, 22 January 2016 20:42

Photos and article provided by Stu Adkin

It was a cold and dampish affair seeing the return of retirees Sharon and Charles who along with Peta, assisted with the removal of a fallen tree at the corner of the site behind the Chilston Park hotel sign. A habitat wood pile was created with the debris.

Paul and Matt Nixon returned and did a sterling job of repairing a very wonky stile and also creating a temporary platform which will eventually assist with gaining access to the island once water levels have sufficiently receded. The timber used was recycled from the old fence posts that were once around the ice house. A few improvements are yet to be made for the structure to be fully functional but it was a highly successful dummy run / trial and much needed given the island was / is otherwise inaccessible without waders or boat!

 
HCC Volunteer Day - Feet and Fronds
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Thursday, 08 October 2015 07:33
Attendance was through the roof in comparison to previous days! Rob's family made a welcome appearance. Sharon and Charles were new attendees who found us via a poster seen in the Charing Heath area. They are both recently retired and wanted to do something more interesting than joining a gym. Karen and Kim also chipped in with some snipping too.
 
Everyone put in a sterling performance in the removal of mainly birch and alder saplings with the brash being placed discreetly to provide wildlife habitats. The area adjacent to the pond was superbly and swiftly despatched and once completed we moved to the open area of heath. In addition some overhanging vegetation above the path to the side of the cliff was dealt with.
 
We were accompanied by the frequent yaffle of a green woodpecker, numerous invertebrate species which included some sawfly, ichneumons & parasitic wasps and there was a range of lovely fungi on view. Oh and we found a very decomposed badger. Weather was as lovely as the sausages. Everyone had a nice time and the newcomers said they would happily attend next months affair. Stuart was over the moon!
 
 
Blog written by Stuart Adkin and all photos provided by Stuart Adkin
 
Winter Newsletter
Written by Ruth Lovering   
Monday, 27 October 2014 22:28

Download our Winter Newsletter to find out more about our forthcoming events and to catch up on what has been going on in our sites during the past yearicon HCCNewsletterNovember14 (2.31 MB)

 
Geocache clears Hurst Wood
Written by Mike Phillips   
Thursday, 03 July 2014 09:58

Read our Blog to find out more about this event.....

Geocache HurstWood

 
Increased Access to Chilston Pines
Written by Debbie Adams   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 10:10

Chilston Pines, a site swathed in rolling acid grassland, punctuated with ancient trees and towering pines has increased its visitor appeal through the addition of extra access points. The new kissing gates extend the off-road walking route and provide a safe tranquil ramble through the British countryside. Access to Chilston Pines can now be made off of Bowley Lane, Lenham Heath through an area of young woodland owned by Network Rail.

The walk, extending to over 0.6 miles means that the visitor can enjoy a linear route through the historic pines site before making a short trip over the High Speed Rail bridge crossing into Chilston Ponds site, another fascinating site with the ruins of an ice house and spherical ice pond. Up until now, access to Chilston Pines has been restricted to one point implying that the site has been disjointed from other Heaths Countryside Corridor protected landscapes.

With the new access furniture, kindly provided by Network Rail and access across land genrously allowed by Andrew Barr, Chilston Pines can now be enjoyed as an integral piece of the Heaths Countryside Corridor living landscape, open for everyone to visit and enjoy.

The Heaths Countryside Corridor community group run a range of countryside volunteer days across their sites. The days include many aspects of site management from site surveys to scrub management and pond clearance. If you would like to learn more about the Heaths Countryside Corridor or join the volunteers to contribute to protecting these living landscapes please email Mike Phillips at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Debbie Adams at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it For further details telephone 0300 333 6490

 
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Heaths Countryside Corridore

Charity No: 1097080 Company No: 4504311

This project has been made possible by the enormous help of the Rail Link Countryside Initiative (David Standen), Mid-Kent Downs Project (Sally Evans, Mike Phillips), Kentish Stour Countryside Project (Debbie Adams) and Kent Wildlife Trust (Neil Coombes) to whom we are very grateful.

 


Mid Kent Downs Countryside Partnership KSCP KWT Kent Downs
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Our Supporters

We are particularly grateful to the following supporters of the Heaths Countryside Corridor. If you’d like a link to your company to appear here, become a Corporate Member of HCC!

AJ & NM Carr Ltd (Coach company)
Pivington Mill, Pluckley, Tel: 01233 840651

CL2 (Hairdresser)
Cranbrook, 01580 715456, enquiries@cl2.co.uk, www.cl2.co.uk

Grafty Green Gardening Club

JKW Alexander Ltd (local farm)
Sandway, 01622 858348, kennethalexander@btconnect.com

Lenham Ironmongers Ltd (Household Stores)
Lenham, 01622 858286

Sharen Cain (certified accountant)
Lenham Heath, 01622 851851, sharen.cain@btconnect.com

The White Horse (Traditional Brithish & Authentic Mexican Cuisine)
Sandway, 01622 859511,  www.the-white-horse.com

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