Notable Dates and Achievements

2005 to December 2016

2016

  • December 2016 – BWAG held its annual Carol Concert and raised over £1,400. In total the Carol Concerts have raised over £13,500
  • December 2016 – BWAG attended Christmas Fayres at Hempstead and St Matthews
  • September 2016 – BWAG attended the Bredhurst Cats Protection Centre An evening Bat Walk attracted a record number of attendees. BWAG was invited to the Bredhurst Village Show for the first time and BWAG gave a presentation to the Friends of Berengrave Local Nature Reserve
  • July 2016 – Members and supporters received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service from the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, the Viscount De L’Isle at a special celebration event at Green Court
  • July 2016 – BWAG attended the Kent County Show
  • June 2016 – BWAG received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for voluntary groups and was one of only two group in Kent to receive the award.
  • May 2016 – BWAG Chairman and two Trustees attended the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace
  • April 2016 – BWAG presentation to Maidstone Ramblers. KRAG led an adder survey and the 9th annual Bluebell event took place and raised £1,000. Originally these were only one day events but in 2011 it expanded to a weekend event which, to date, has raised over £7,000
  • April 2016 – 2nd Police operation of the year with officers using un-marked and marched vehicles
  • March 2016 – ‘All About Adders’ talk to members at Bredhurst School. Also held ‘Jazz in the Village’ a very successful fund raising event and BWAG Trustees meet with senior officers from the Rural Police Team who advised on additional security measures for the woods
  • February 2016 – Plot of land donated to BWAG. BWAG now owns 9 plots totalling 11 acres
  • January 2016 – Police operation in Bredhurst Woods
  • January 2016 – KRAG (Kent Reptile and Amphibian Group) visited Bredhurst to advise on improving adder habitats
  • January 2016 – Three BWAG volunteers attended a brush cutters course and one received his chainsaw licence
  • January 2016 – BWAG Chairman, Vanessa Jones, awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List

2015

  • November 2015 – Another excellent talk by Nigel King ‘Vultures in the Village’ was well attended
  • August 2015 – BWAG purchased a further two plots of land. BWAG now owns 8 plots totalling about 10 acres of Bredhurst Woods.
  • July 2015 – BWAG awarded the Kent County Agricultural Society’s Sir Edward Harvey Trophy for ‘outstanding services to the forestry industry.
  • July 2015 – BWAG held its first Music & Picnic at Green Court. It was a sell-out event and raised just under £1000.
  • June 2015 – BWAG held its first Dressage for BWAG event. It was well supported by all local stables.
  • May 2015 – BWAG held a 2 day Wood Fayre to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Over 500 visitors attended the event funded mainly by grants sourced from the Mid Kent Downs Partnership, KCC and MBC.
  • May 2015 – BWAG won the Richard Neame Award for Woodland Management, achieving the winning gold standard out of 22 finalists, plus a cheque for £1000.
  • March 2015 – BWAG donated hedging plants to St Peter’s Church to enhance the Bredhurst entrance to the byway
  • February 2015 – Over 2 years of negotiations conclude with National Grid regarding the damage they caused in Day Valley in 2013. National Grid have now changed their working practices across the UK to ensure the damage caused at Bredhurst does not happen again. They also made a donation of an undisclosed sum to BWAG.
  • During 2015 – Monthly Volunteer Task Days continue to be popular with 20-30 volunteers attending each month
  • During 2015 – Monthly wildlife surveys include dormouse, moth, bat and adder surveys

2014

  • October 2014 – BWAG purchased its sixth plot of land. BWAG now owns approximately 9 acres of Bredhurst Woods.
  • During 2014 – Monthly Volunteer Task Days held throughout the year and continued to grow in popularity. On average, around 20-30 volunteers attended each month
  • During 2014 – BWAG continued negotiations with National Grid following the destruction of habitat during the 2013 breeding bird season
  • During 2014 – Monthly dormouse surveys carried out. Also moth, bat and adder surveys conducted
  • BWAG raised £750 for the rehabilitation of an owlet found close to death on the woodland floor
  • During 2014 – Various talks held in the village hall including ‘A Nature Photographer’s Year’ by Robert Canis and ‘Bredhurst’s Ancestors: Mesolithic to Medieval’ by the Historical research Group of Sittingbourne. HRGS also carried out an archaeological survey of Bredhurst Woods

2013

  • During 2013 – Large amounts of hedge planting carried out, including KH49 (the bridlepath between St Peters and Kemsley Street)
  • During 2013 – Surveys carried out included Bats, Reptiles and Dormice. Dormice surveys confirmed breeding pairs at Bredhurst
  • During 2013 – BWAG spoke at the Kent Countryside Management Partnership meeting
  • During 2013 – BWAG spoke at the annual British Natural History Conference in Bristol
  • April 2013 – BWAG purchased a new brushcutter with funding from Cllr Paul Carter. Since BWAG began in 2005, Paul has donated nearly £11,000 to BWAG
  • Spring 2013 – Contractors working on behalf of National Grid destroyed species rich habitat at Day Valley. A police investigation launched
  • January 2013 – BWAG changed its charitable status to allow the purchase of land.
  • January 2013 – BWAG now an Incorporated Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee (Registered Company Number: 8253717 / Charity Number 1149618)
  • January 2013 – BWAG purchased its first plot of land. By December 2013 a further 4 plots in BWAG ownership

2012

  • During 2012 – surveys carried out included Bats, Dormice, Reptiles and the Great Orchid Count
  • During 2012 – training events included a Tree Identification Walk, Discovering Chalk Grassland and Ancient Woodland Management
  • November 2012 – launch of 2nd BWAG Calendar
  • October 2012 – Herbridian & Herdwick sheep arrive to munch scrub
  • September 2012 – BWAG receives national recognition for its conservation work and community engagement with the publication of Carnegie UK Trust ‘Pride in Place’ report
  • July 2012 – BWAG awarded £2,500 from the Whitehead Monckton Charitable Foundation towards cost of BWAG’s first land purchases
  • April 2012 – Hadlow College Forestry & Arboriculture Students conducted tree safety surveys and carried out tree maintenance work
  • Spring 2012 – Installation of 35 new numbered waymarkers – numbers link to newly published ‘Discover Bredhurst Woods’ leaflets aimed to help guide visitors around the site
  • Spring 2012 – Installation of BWAG notice board at Bredhurst entrance to byway KH94

2011

  • During 2011 – various nature walks and events held covering Bats, Reptiles, Fungi, Botany and Trees
  • November 2011 – South East Woodland Archeological Forum (SEWAF) gives a presentation to BWAG members
  • November 2011 – BWAG has a stand at Hempstead Valley Farmers Market to promote the 1st Bredhurst Calendar
  • October 2011 – 3rd Sponsored Horse Ride
  • September 2011 – In association with BWAG, the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne (HRGS) gives a presentation to BWAG members and residents
  • May 2011 – The British Horse Society gives award in recognition of BWAG’s work to upgrade miles of woodland paths
  • May 2011 – BWAG promotional stand at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre
  • May 2011 – BWAG receives £10,000 from the Big Lottery
  • March 2011 – BWAG gives presentation to academics and environmentalists at University of London
  • March 2011 – KCC and BWAG pay for further path restoration
  • February 2011 – BBC film at Bredhurst Woods
  • January 2011 – BWAG plant 200m of new hedging to create a ‘wildlife corridor’

2010

  • During 2010 – nature walks and events held covering Bats, Birds, Reptiles and a Small Mammal Survey carried out
  • October 2010 – Two interpretation boards installed. One in Day Valley and one at the entrance to Strawberry Banks with thanks to Bredhurst WI who provided some funding
  • October 2010 – 2nd Sponsored Horse Ride held
  • June 2010 – BWAG held its 1st ‘Corporate Task Day’ for staff from HSBC bank
  • April 2010 – BWAG held ‘ Bredhurst in Focus’ a photography competition and exhibition
  • April 2010 – BWAG erect 50 Dormouse nesting boxes and begin Dormouse monitoring which will be carried out monthly during the season for many years to come
  • February 2010 – 1st regular Sunday Task Day held. Since 2010, these have been held on the 3rd Sunday of every month

2009

  • During 2009 – 9 various nature walks and events held covering Bats, Birds, Butterflies and Moths
  • September 2009 – KWT loan two Exmoor ponies to BWAG to graze scrub area
  • April 2009 – Another 500m of woodland paths restored, thanks to the Royal Engineers based at Maidstone Barracks.
  • March 2009 – Grassroots Certificate of Merit awarded to BWAG in recognition of achievements
  • February 2009 – a further 1 hectare of scrub clearance completed

2008

  • During 2008 – 8 various nature walks held covering topics from Amphibians, Butterflies and Fungi
  • December 2008 – BWAG received £7,000 in funding from Kent Community Foundation, Grassroots Grant and the Mid Kent Downs Project
  • November – KWT loan sheep to BWAG to graze scrub area
  • September 2008 – Bredhurst wins Kent Village of the Year (Environmental Category)
  • April 2008 – ARD, a German TV company, visited Bredhurst Woods and filmed BWAG volunteers at work. The programme was screened in Germany on 5 May
  • April 2008 – BWAG holds its first ‘Bluebell Walk & Cream Tea’
  • March 2008 – Paths officially opened by Nigel Wheeler, High Sheriff of Kent; Cllr Paul Carter, Leader KCC and Cllr Denise Joy, Deputy Mayor of Maidstone
  • March 2008 – Restoration of several hundred meters of footpath completed. Total project cost £30,150
  • March 2008 – 1st phase of coppicing completed, covering nearly 6 hectares of woodland
  • March 2008 – 3 additional kissing gates installed. Total for the area – 19
  • March 2008 – 2 additional horse gates installed. Total for the area – 5
  • February 2008 – 1 hectare of scrub cleared and 350m of fencing erected by BWAG volunteers

2007

  • During 2007 – various nature walks held covering topics from Amphibians, badgers, birds and fungi
  • During 2007, sixteen kissing gates installed on paths KH9; KH38; KH52; KH50; KH51 (Day Valley, Strawberry Banks, Arran Bank Farm and surrounding areas). A further three gates are due to be installed in March 2008
  • December 2007 – Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) introduced on byway KH94 and installation of gates at both ends of byway. Only permit holders and landowners are now allowed to use the byway
  • November 2007 – Royal Engineers begin path restoration on bridlepath KH56, which links byway KH94 to White Hill. They will return in February 2008 for another month to complete the work
  • November 2007 – BWAG volunteers & KCC Public Rights of Ways Officer installed 45 steps on footpath KH9
  • July 2007 – BWAG representatives attend the Woodland Trust National Conference at Grantham and give a presentation on the work of BWAG
  • June 2007 – BWAG holds ‘Cream Teas & Clarinets’ in the gardens of Grove House
  • April 2007 – BWAG, in conjunction with Kent Wildlife Trust host a Local Wildlife Site, Owners Day
  • April 2007 – Extensive work in the White Hill area completed. This included the clearance of fly tipping; new fencing; a substantial metal barrier to deter further fly tippers and deny illegal access to off road vehicles
  • March 2007 – Several hundred meters of byway renovated
  • March 2007 – Coppicing and scrub clearance commenced of approximately 6 hectares
  • Spring 2007 – The Royal Engineers conducted a survey of Bredhurst Hurst

2006

  • During 2006 – various nature walks held covering badgers, bats and general wildlife
  • November 2006 – BWAG winners of the KCC ‘Awards for Volunteering Excellence’ (environmental category)
  • November 2006 – 2nd Fly-tipping clean up day. Over 30 BWAG members took part
  • October 2006 – BWAG held is first ‘Sponsored Horse Ride’ and raised over £1200
  • August 2006 – BWAG held its first social event, ‘Pimms at Green Court’ and raised £700
  • July 2006 – Kent Wildlife Trust published a 5 year Management Plan for Bredhurst Hurst and a Schedule of Works for year 1 and 2
  • May 2006 – BWAG holds a Woodland Weekend
  • May 2006 – BWAG Membership Scheme Launched. As of 2012 there are nearly 400 members
  • April 2006 – 1st Fly-tipping clean up day helped by 60 volunteers. Removed over 100 tons of rubbish from Bredhurst Hurst
  • April 2006 – A 1500 signature petition handed to Hugh Robertson MP demanding that action be taken to preserve our woodland. This has now been formally presented to Parliament
  • March 2006 – Meridian TV films BWAG
  • March 2006 – 1000m of fencing erected in Day Valley. This chalk grassland is open access land and of environmental importance due to the rare species of flora present. This was funded by the landowner and Mid Kent Downs Project
  • Spring 2006 – A Breeding bird survey was conducted in Monkdown Wood. This showed a decline in bird species and that urgent action was required to improve the situation

2005

  • November 2005 – 400m of fencing erected along Hurstwood Road from the village hall and along the byway. This was funded by the Mid Kent Downs Project
  • July 2005 – Land Registry search undertaken for Bredhurst Hurst. As of 31 March 2009, of the 139 plot holders, 77 have now been traced, with 55 giving BWAG permission to carry out maintenance work and access to their land. 23 owners have indicated that they wish to sell their land to BWAG and, hopefully in time, funds can be obtained to secure this land for future generations
  • July 2005 – First BWAG promotional stand at the Kent County Show
  • May 2005 – Bredhurst Woodland Action Group formed by six local residents