Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve
Stodmarsh NNR covers a square mile of internationally important reedbeds, fens, ditches, wet grassland and open water, which provide an ideal habitat for breeding and wintering birds, invertebrates and rare plants. The reserve is especially important for bittern, marsh harriers and the shining ramshorn snail, which are rare across Europe, in addition to a strong population of water voles, which are increasingly rare in England. Stodmarsh has the largest reedbed in the southeast of England, which supports a range of specialised birds and insects. The beds are an excellent sanctuary for thousands of migrating birds such as swallows and house martins in the summer and starlings in the winter. In addition to bittern and marsh harrier, kingfisher, great crested grebe, coot, moorhen, reed bunting and bearded reedling can all be seen on the reserve. The reserve also supports a large variety of invertebrates including dragonflies and moths, and rare plants.
Also in the Area
About The area
The White Cliffs of Dover are an English icon – the epitome of our island heritage and sense of nationhood. They also mark the point where the Kent Downs AONB, that great arc of chalk downland stretching from the Surrey Hills and sometimes known as ‘the Garden of England’, finally reaches the sea. This is a well-ordered and settled landscape, where chalk and greensand escarpments look down into the wooded Weald to the south.
Many historic parklands, including Knole Park and Sir Winston Churchill’s red-brick former home at Chartwell, are also worth visiting. Attractive settlements such as Charing, site of Archbishop Cranmer’s Tudor palace, and Chilham, with its magnificent half-timbered buildings and 17th-century castle built on a Norman site, can be found on the Pilgrim’s Way, the traditional route for Canterbury-bound pilgrims in the Middle Ages.
In the nature reserves, such as the traditionally coppiced woodlands of Denge Wood and Earley Wood, and the ancient fine chalk woodland of Yockletts Bank high on the North Downs near Ashford, it is still possible to experience the atmosphere of wilderness that must have been felt by the earliest travellers along this ancient ridgeway.
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