8th August 2010 – Abbotts Court Horse Show

BWAG had a stand at the Abbotts Court Horse Show to promote the work of the group and forthcoming BWAG events.  We also displayed a number of tools which have been donated following our recent appeal asking for old, unwanted items.  Rusty and broken tools have been restored to new and will be used on our monthly task days.

18th August 2010 – Tree Surgeons at Work

Further to the award of funding by KCC, tree maintenance work has been carried out. Where BWAG has landowner consent, dead, diseased and dangerous trees and/or branches have been removed if they were overhanging or adjacent to paths.

24th August 2010 – Bats on the Downs – French Experts Visit UK

Weekly bat surveys, started earlier in the year, have been conducted by BWAG and other groups across the North Downs as part of the ‘Bats on the Downs’ project.  The project, organised by Medway Valley Countryside Partnership and the Kent Bat Group, is examining data collected from the North Downs and partner groups in France.  The project culminated in an exchange visit with colleagues ...

10th September 2010 – Councillors Walk the Woods

A visit from various Parish and Maidstone Borough Councillors was organised by the Mid Kent Downs Project (MKDP).  A tour of Bredhurst Woods highlighted the work undertaken by BWAG, assisted by the MKDP, Kent Wildlife Trust and other organisations.  The walk was followed by lunch at Arran Bank Farm, courtesy of Pam & Dennis Newman.

5th September 2010 – Reptile Walk

Mike Phillips, Kent Reptile & Amphibian Group (KRAG), led walkers on a tour of Bredhurst Woods.  Earlier in the year Mike assisted BWAG to set up a reptile monitoring scheme and walkers were taken to examine sites where reptiles are now known to live. Species identified included adders, slow-worms and lizards.  The highlight of the day was finding a black adder basking in ...

2nd October 2010 – Unveiling of Information Boards

Representatives from Bredhurst WI officially unveiled information boards for which they kindly contributed £500.  The balance of the funding was provided by the Mid Kent Downs Countryside Partnership Fund.  The boards are located at Day Valley and on the approach to Strawberry Banks.

3rd October 2010 – Sponsored Horse Ride

Despite torrential rain, 53 riders took part in the BWAG Sponsored Horse Ride raising over £1,100.  The course, approximately a 10 mile circuit, took participants over private land to which they would not normally have access.  Thanks to Deana Foulds for organising the event, landowners, riders and marshals.  Money raised will go towards more path restoration in Bredhurst Woods.

November 2010 – Fallen Giant

Sadly, a huge majestic beech tree came down in the high winds at the beginning of November near the Woodcutters Path, heading towards Strawberry Banks. The tree had been weakened by an invasive fungus - Ganoderma.

9th December 2010 – Christmas Carol Concert

Following heavy snowfall, this year’s concert was postponed from the 2nd to the 9th December. Despite a lot of snow still on the ground, we had a record attendance of 169 guests and record takings of £1,564, an increase of £606 on last year’s takings. All proceeds will go towards further restoration of Bredhurst Woods. BWAG Trustees are extremely grateful ...

January 2011 – New Hedge Planted

BWAG has got the year off to a good start with the planting of 200m of hedging adjacent to byway KH94. Thanks to the many volunteers who helped with the planting; to the landowner for allowing BWAG access to his land and to PTES (People's Trust for Endangered Species) who provided the plants free of charge. Once established, the hedge ...

16th February 2011 – BBC Visits Bredhurst Woods

BBC South East filmed in Bredhurst Woods a piece which was broadcast today regarding the implications of woodland being owned by numerous owners. Bredhurst Hurst is split into 139 plots which are owned by 104 owners. Many owners now live across the UK and abroad and had to be traced by BWAG to ask permission to access their land to ...

8th March 2011 – More Paths Restored

BWAG are very grateful to the Public Rights of Way Team at Kent County Council for organising more path restoration in Bredhurst Woods. The work has made access to the Detling side of the woods much easier. The total cost of the work was £13,600 which included a contribution of £2,500 from BWAG.

17th March 2011 – BWAG at University of London

BWAG was invited to speak at the Natural Connections Conference held at the University of London. Academics and eminent environmentalists heard how Bredhurst Woods has been transformed from an unpleasant site full of fly-tipping and very little wildlife to an area used daily by many people and thriving with wildlife. The presentation was warmly received and the audience appreciated the ...

24th April 2011 – The Bell – Donation to BWAG

Funds raised from The Bell’s successful firework night in November were handed out to several local charities. Trustees Vanessa Jones and Ann Callen were very pleased to accept £250 on behalf of BWAG.

30th April 2011 – Successful Start to Dormouse Surveys

Great concern has been expressed for the future of the hazel dormouse as its numbers across the country have declined by at least a half in the last 100 years. Dormice are a ‘flagship species’. Where they occur the habitat is usually very suitable for a wide range of other species. Many Dormouse nest boxes were erected last season in ...

30th April & 1st May 2011 – Bluebell & Cream Tea Weekend

BWAG held bluebell walks followed by cream teas at Arran Bank Farm over two days this year. The event proved extremely popular with 174 guests over the two days. There were also bird and bat boxes, garden ornaments and firewood for sale. The event raised nearly £1,500.

6th May 2011 – BWAG AGM

43 people attended the AGM. Two Trustees stood down; Melanie Fooks, Treasurer since the group was formed in 2005, and Membership Secretary, Ann Callen, who is emigrating to Australia. Both have given a tremendous amount of time and hard work to BWAG. They are replaced by Dr Kevyn Wightman, who has her PhD in Forestry and Roy Hopkins, an ex-Forestry ...

11th May 2011 – BWAG Receives £10,000 of Lottery Funding

Thanks to help from the Mid Kent Downs Countryside Partnership, BWAG has been awarded £10,000 from Awards for All and £2,500 from Interreg Funding. This will be spent on various items including; Design, production and installation of way markers Design and production of guided walk leaflets Promotional items Wildlife Walks/ Recording Events Updating BWAG Website Training for BWAG Members

16th – 22nd May 2011 – BWAG at Hempstead Valley

BWAG took part in the ‘Garden Show Week’ at Hempstead Valley. Many new members joined and the bird boxes and decorative wooden garden mushrooms proved very popular. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped man the stand, the management of Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre and ‘Theme Events’, the company who organised the show, for allowing BWAG to participate free of ...

27th May 2011 – British Horse Society Gives Award to BWAG

Trustees were pleased to attend the headquarters of Kent Wildlife Trust at Tyland Barn to receive an award from the British Horse Society. Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham & Aylesford presented the award in recognition of BWAG's work to upgrade several miles of paths for walkers and horse riders.

22nd July 2011 – Bat Walk

Mary Tate and colleagues from the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership led two successful bat walks with over 60 people attending. The walks formed part of the Bats on the Downs Project which is funded by Interreg. Several Bat walks are planned which will examine various habitats and identify the different species of Bats that live on the Kent Downs.

23rd July 2011 – Botany Walk

Botanist Mervyn Brown led a wildflower walk with 28 BWAG members attending. It was a sunny day and Mervyn highlighted many interesting, unusual, and rare plants now thriving in Bredhurst Woods.

7th August 2011 – Guided Tree Walk

Simon Ginnaw gave a guided tour of the woods to 22 BWAG members. He explained the history and folklore associated with many of our native woodland trees, the many roles they play in our everyday lives and the ecosystems they help support.

21st August 2011 – Task Day

The BWAG task days regularly attract 20 - 30 helpers. On this occasion seats were erected in Day Valley and Strawberry Banks.

16th September 2011 – Dowsing, Digging & Dating

In association with BWAG, Richard Emmett from The Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne (HGRS) presented the group’s initial findings from their recent archaeological dig in Bredhurst. Also on display were historical maps and documents relating to Bredhurst Woods and artefacts from St Peter's Church. Over 70 people attended the talk and Richard said “it was pleasing to know that there ...

23rd October 2011 – BWAG Sponsored Horse Ride

Thank you to all participants and helpers. The sun shone (a great improvement on last year’s torrential rain) and we rose over £1300 which will be used for further improvements in Bredhurst Woods.

30th October 2011 – Fungi Foray

Tricia Moxley led this popular event which was over subscribed. Many species of fungi were recorded and full details will be added to the BWAG website soon.

30th November 2011 – Woodland Archaeology Talk

Lyn Palmer and Vivienne Blandford from the South East Woodland Archaeological Forum (SEWAF) gave details about what archaeological features may be present in Bredhurst Woods. They also explained about possible training for BWAG members to understand the archaeology of Bredhurst Woods and to record and identify archaeological features. . Andrew Mayfield, Community Archaeologist for Kent, brought along the new LiDAR …

8th December 2011 – Annual BWAG Carol Concert

Despite torrential rain and gale force winds, the BWAG Carol Concert was a great success. Thank you to the Cantium Singers who gave another excellent performance at the Church and to all the helpers at Green Court. With ticket sales up on previous years and many raffle prizes generously donated by a range of businesses and BWAG Members, the grand ...

Spring 2012 – Installation of Waymarkers, Fingerposts & BWAG Notice Board

Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery, BWAG installed 35 numbered waymarkers and fingerposts throughout the woods and a BWAG notice board at the Bredhurst entrance to the byway (KH94).  The numbers on the waymarkers/fingerposts relate to a map of the area in the newly published series of leaflets 'Discover Bredhurst Woods'.  Leaflets can be found in a dispenser on ...

April 2012 – Hadlow College Help BWAG

Forestry and Arboriculture students from Hadlow College donated their time and practical expertise by conducting tree safety surveys in Bredhurst Woods.  They carried out maintenance work including pruning branches and felling trees where necessary. These exercises helped re-enforce classroom based work with real-life scenarios and gave the students the opportunity to put their practical knowledge, including their newly acquired chainsaw ...

21st & 22nd April 2012 – Bluebells & Cream Tea Weekend

This year BWAG held bluebell walks through Bredhurst Woods over two days.  Although the weather was good on the Saturday, the weather on Sunday was fairly windy and wet.  Despite this, around 100 people attended the event and we raised £550.

4th May 2012 – BWAG AGM

The meeting was well attended by 10 trustees, 41 members and 1 guest.  Deana Foulds and Pam Newman, the current Vice-Chairman, both retired as trustees and did not seek re-election. As two of the original six residents who formed BWAG in 2005, their help, knowledge of environmental issues and support over the years has been invaluable.  They will both be ...

13th May 2012 – Discover Your Ancient Woodland

Over 20 people attended the training course run by BWAG, led by Neil Coombs, Kent Wildlife Trust and funded by the Big Lottery.  Topics covered included the history of Britain's woodlands,the special plants and animals that can be found and features that determine whether woodland is 'ancient' or not.  Also covered were the general principles of wildlife-friendly management such as coppicing, ...

June & July 2012 – The Great Orchid Count

Two days of orchid surveying, approximately 4 weeks apart, were undertaken by Kent and Medway Biological Records Centre and BWAG volunteers to ascertain the number of orchids at the site. Surveying over two seperate dates enabled counting of various species of orchids which flower at different times. The initial count took place on 8th June 2012, when species such as ...

22nd July 2012 – Discovering Chalk Grassland

There was a good turn out for the chalk grassland workshop, organised by BWAG and led by Neil Coombs. The event was funded by the Big Lottery. Neil explained about the wildlife that can be found in this habitat, why it is so special and the general principles of grassland management.

28th July 2012 – Tree Identification Walk

The course was fully booked with nearly 30 people attending. Led by Mike Phillips of the Mid Kent Downs Project, the day was very informative and interesting. In Day Valley, Mike had collected several bags of leaves and twigs from different species and the first task was to identify as many as we could. This was followed by a walk ...

July 2012 – Bird Survey Completed

A bird survey of Bredhurst Woods has been completed.  Carried out by BWAG member, Owen Sweeney and assisted by Larry Brooks, BWAG trustee, who visited the woods up to six times a month from March to July 2012.  They recorded 56 different bird species which is a healthy and encouraging count for the area.  Some of the highlights included Wheater, …

July 2012 – Funding for Land Purchase

BWAG are very grateful to the Whitehead Monckton Charitable Foundation for the award of £2,500.  This will be used towards the cost of the first two plots of land which the current owners have generously offered to BWAG.  It is hoped these plots will be the first of many further acquisitions – the ultimate aim of BWAG is to secure the …

Summer 2012 – Weekly Bat Surveys

Every Thursday evening throughout the summer months, BWAG Trustee, Steve Wright, led BWAG members on weekly Bat surveys. Surveys have been carried out regularly since 2009 and have established that there are large numbers of Pipistrelle Bats as well as Noctule and Serotine in and around Bredhurst Woods.

September 2012 – Carnegie UK Trust and BWAG

"Pride in Place: Tackling Incivilities" was the focus of a Carnegie UK Trust's report on how groups like BWAG engage and improve their local communities. BWAG was one of eight selected charities from across the UK and featured in a document which summarised BWAG's achievements. Please click here to view the BWAG report and here for the full report.

October 2012 – Arrival of KWT Sheep

Once again, Kent Wildlife Trust have lent BWAG their sheep to munch the scrub on a field which BWAG is trying to revert back to chalk grassland. Sheep grazing is vital for the success of the management of the site. This year we have Herdwick Sheep (the light ones) and Hebridean (the dark ones). For more information about these breeds, ...

November 2012 – Launch of BWAG 2013 Calendar

For the 2nd year running, BWAG has produced a calendar depicting woodland scenes and the surrounding area. All proceeds are used for the maintenance and conservation of Bredhurst Woods. For details and to place an order, please contact BWAG trustee Jim Chalmers on 07870 878907.

6th December 2012 – Christmas Carols & Mulled Wine

Thank you to everyone who attended the BWAG Carol Concert and especially to The Cantium Singers who gave another excellent performance. We were glad to welcome the Huskies from Staggen Kennels which, as always, were very popular and Sarah Jayne's Sweet Treats stall which nearly sold out. The hand crafted dolls on sale, kindly donated by a BWAG member, sold ...

January 2013 – BWAG’s First Land Purchase & Change of Charity Status

BWAG has purchased its first plot of land in Bredhurst Woods. Plot 60 is in the centre of the woodland, known as ‘Crossroads’ where a bench and ring of wooden mushrooms were installed a couple of years ago. Bredhurst Woods were split into over a hundred plots and sold from the late 1960s onwards. When BWAG was formed in 2005, …

5th March 2013 – Tree Planting at Bredhurst School

With the help of BWAG members, children from Bredhurst Primary School planted hedges around the perimeter of the school grounds. Children from every class helped to plant hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn and dogwood with the support of BWAG trustees, parents and teachers. Trees were provided by the Trees to Treasure Program.