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.