18th February 2008 – Rescue Mission for Orchids and Wildlife

An area of about 1 hectare, which was once chalk grassland, began to return to its former glory this week. Over the past 30 years or so this site, which used to be covered with wild flowers and herbs, had become neglected and overgrown making it uninviting for nesting birds and wildlife. Kent Wildlife Trust advised that the area needed to be cleared, fenced and grazed.

BWAG raised sufficient funds to pay contractors to clear the site, but volunteers decided to do the fencing. Thanks to the generosity of McVeigh Parker, agricultural suppliers in Headcorn, the materials cost BWAG very little.

Starting on 18th February, Kent Wildlife Trust led a team of up to 20 volunteers who erected approximately 350m of fencing – an incredible achievement as, apart from KWT staff, virtually nobody else had any fencing experience. The ground was uneven, hard and full of flints – not ideal for the novice fencers! Amazingly, the task was completed in just four days.

Kent Wildlife Trust will shortly be providing a small flock of Wiltshire Horn sheep to graze the area. This will keep the scrub encroachment to a minimum and allow the site to rejuvenate and flourish. Hopefully, we may even see Nightingales return to nest here once again……..

An enormous thank-you to Neil Coombs and his colleagues at KWT, McVeigh Parker and of course to all the volunteers!!