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New Roadside Nature Reserve in Tonbridge

Posted: Thursday 9th November 2017 by KentWildlifeStaff

Roadside Nature Reserve - TonbridgeRoadside Nature Reserve - Tonbridge

A new urban RNR in Tonbridge is designated this year!

With the help of a Kent County Council grant and Kent Highways Services we are working on this site to enhance the grassland. We have already recorded two different orchids and hope that our management will help increase their numbers.

A few weeks ago the site was cut by a Kent Highways Contractor and a team of Kent Wildlife Trust volunteers helped to rake the cuttings and these were removed by Tonbridge & Malling cleansing department. Tonbridge School for boys will be sowing seed in some areas (suited to the soil) to help increase the floral diversity of the site. 

Volunteers work on Tonbridge's new Roadside Nature Reserve

A range of different flowers will attract lots of insects and we hope to see plenty of butterflies and bees visiting the flowers next year!

Some of the plants that have been recorded so far….

Sainfoin and pyramidal orchid are already present on the verge along with other flowers such as common bird’s-foot-trefoil and ox-eye daisy.

Pyramidal orchidFlowers at Tonbridge roadside nature reserve

Our new signs are in place so why not take a look next time you are in Tonbridge.

There are currently over 150 Roadside Nature Reserve (RNR) sites in Kent and these vary in size from just one or two metres wide up to a massive 25- 30 metres wide. The sites are managed by Kent Highways Services and Kent Wildlife Trust led Volunteer teams. There are over 70 volunteer wardens helping to keep an eye on these important sections of road verges

RNRs help to protect rare and declining species and Habitats such as man orchid (nationally scarce) and chalk grassland. They also help provide a network of ‘mini meadows’ to allow insects such as bees and butterflies to feed on vital nectar and pollen and to help them move and forage across the wider countryside. RNRs can also provide a home for our native reptile species that tend to favour less disturbed areas.

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