IMG_5356-01.jpeg

Kiln Field Reserve & Wildlife Venues

Land at Abbott Way, Kiln Field TN30 7BZ is located to the south east of Tenterden, to the south of Appledore Road B2080. It is only accessible by road through the housing estate leading to Abbott Way. It covers an area of 1.8 ha (4.5 acres).  Map Reference: TQ89133.1

The site was included as part of a wider planning application for the Kiln Field housing estate built to the north (Planning Application No. 00/00505/AS). Kiln Field is owned by Ashford Borough Council and is leased by Tenterden Town Council on a 25 year term until 2043. 

As set out in Kent Wildlife Trust’s Nature Conservation Management Plan which was prepared by Kent Wildlife Trust (KWT) on behalf of Tenterden Town Council, historical maps on Google Earth show that the site was an orchard in 1960, stretching west to the woodland stream. By the 1990s, scrub had started to develop to the east of the stream, where there is now secondary woodland. The boundary to the south appears to have remained in situ, as a hedgerow or woodland shaw.

The 2001 Wildlife Management Plan sets out key prescriptions regarding management of the balancing pond, the ancient woodland, the secondary woodland / scrubland areas, and the grassland. The balancing pond was created after 2003 and there is evidence of the construction of a reptile hibernaculum in the meadow area. However, it is unclear whether the site has been actively managed in the intervening period until the last 2-3 years.

Work commenced on Kiln Field in November 2019, when the pond was cleared.  From then onwards the following work has been undertaken:

  • The woodland has been thinned to allow more light and air in.
  • Wildflowers have been planted.
  • The culvert has been fenced off and made safe.
  • Trail cameras have been installed.
  • A Pond Dipping Platform made from recycled plastic has been installed.
  • A footpath down to the Pond Dipping Platform has been created and is due to be completed in the next month or so.
  • Windblown trees have been removed.
  • Bat boxes have been purchased and are about to be installed.
  • Owl boxes have been purchased and are about to be installed.
  • The Himalayan Balsam has been removed and incinerated and this will be cleared annually.
  • Alder Trees have been planted.
  • A Great Crested Newt Survey has been carried out.
  • Numerous signs and notices have been erected.
  • 9 Hazel trees have been planted to establish a coppice area synonymous with Kent Woodlands.

 

We chose recycled plastic as it is a low maintenance, environmentally friendly and an economical alternative to timber. It has the appearance of wood with the advantages of plastic making it the ideal material for the Pond Dipping Platform.

  • It does not fade so it keeps its appearance without the need of paint or stain, eliminating expensive labour costs and environmental damage.
  • It cannot rot, so can tolerate damp conditions.
  • It does not absorb water, so resists fungal growth.
  • It is robust enough to withstand the demands of urban situations.
  • Plastic extrusion eliminates splinters.
  • It is very easy to keep clean, especially where hygiene is important.
  • It is made from substantial heavy duty recycled plastic that resists graffiti, is difficult to burn and is heavy to move.
  • It has a 25 year guarantee.

Tenterden Town Council saved 33,902 milk containers from our oceans to create our Pond Dipping Platform and have received a certificate in recognition of this. Please click here.

  

100 matured Cowslips, Yarrow, Oxeye Daisy and Scabious have been planted in the wildlflower meadow.

The tarmac has been put down on the new footpath down to the Pond Dipping Platform in readiness for the finishing coat of bonded gravel, which will be completed in a couple of weeks' time and the Pond Dipping Platform extension has now been completed.

On Tuesday 30th March and Wednesday 31st March 2021, Frankie Woodgate and Richard Styles of Weald Woodscapes will be installing the Owl and Bat Boxes in Kiln Field.

The Pond Dipping Platform extension work commenced last week and should be continuing this week. On completion, the contractor will tarmac the new footpath which leads down to the Pond Dipping Platform ready for the finishing coat in a few weeks' time. The finishing coat will be a bonded gravel (porous). This is because the wetter months could be a challenge and a resin surface would give easier traction for wheelchair and mobility scooter users. The colour chosen was Daltex Amber Gold, which would blend in well with the surroundings at Kiln Field.

Dave Bourner has reported that so far on the wildlife cameras we have had cats, mice, rabbits, foxes, badgers, pheasants and various birds.

A member of the Kiln Field sub-committee reported that there was an influx of Solitary Bees in early March and they had found a Cadis Fly Lava in the Pond - for video click here . The Cadis Fly covers itself in an armour/ camouflage of seed cases and anything else it can cover itself in.

There has been evidence of Wild Lettuce – which is not native to this area, Pyramid Orchids and Frogspit in the pond. 

 

 

In 2019 the sub-committee agreed that there should be designated grass verges to be left to wildflowers. We took advice from Colin Reader, an Ecologist, who advises on wildlife habitat restoration projects, who walked around Tenterden and advised us on the most suitable verges to be left to wildflowers. Signs saying "Pardon the Weeds We are feeding the Bees" were put up to let people know that these verges were being left to wildlflowers.  The designated verges are as follows:

The verge on the entrance to Chalk Avenue

Our maintenance team have scattered a wildflower meadow mix and Yellow Rattle over bare areas.  At the moment this verge is dominated by lots of Lawn Daisy and some White Clover.

Craythorne

This verge is weedy and good for wildlife.  Red Campion and Meadow Cranesbill have been put in to catch the eye.  

The verge opposite the Fat Ox Public House

This is the best verge of them all.  It's a shady area dominated by plants. There are lots of Primroses.  Some Bird's-Foot Trefoil has been planted. Most flowers are spring flowering so we have planted Selfheal, Devils-bit Scabious and Betony, a woodland shade mix so that we have an extra season of flowering time.  

Wildflower meadow at the bottom of St. Michael's Recreation Ground

A clay, loam and sandy soil mix has been sown with the addition of extra Meadowsweet, Purple Loosetrife and Ragged Robin. Yellow Rattle seed has been sown to try to reduce the grass vigor and to have an area to collect Yellow Rattle seed in the future for our use to enable greater success from the wildflower seeding. 

Rogersmead

A clay, loam and sandy soil mix has been sown in.

 

Agendas and minutes of meetings held from December 2018 to February 2021 can be found here.

Agendas and minutes of meetings from March 2021 onwards can be found here.

IMG_5559-01.jpeg