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South Swale

This reserve is home to thousands of wildfowl and waders in winter, and some very special plants in summer.

This reserve is home to thousands of wildfowl and waders in winter, and some very special plants in summer.

Visit on a calm summers day when it reverberates to the sounds of grasshoppers, beetles, skylark, reed warbler and breeding redshank. Amongst the reeds you may also hear the 'ching' of a bearded reedling or catch a distant view of a marsh harrier.

On the beach, look for spectacular yellow horned-poppy. Saltmarsh plants grow best in Faversham Creek: goldern samphire, sea-lavender and sea-purslane together make a vibrantly colourful show.

In winter, the mudflats and tidal waters of the Swale estuary teem with shellfish, worms and certain specialised plants. These attract huge numbers of birds to feed, especially as the tide goes out. Wigeon and up to 2,000 Brent geese rely heavily on the eelgrass which grows below the high tide mark.

You can also look out for the occassional short-eared owl or hen harrier hunting for small mammals or unsuspecting birds. The merlin is also a frequent winter visitor.

Nearby nature reserves

Oare Marshes
3 miles - Kent Wildlife Trust
South Blean
5 miles - Kent Wildlife Trust
West Blean and Thornden Woods
6 miles - Kent Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Seasalter Road
Map reference
TR 060 648
Great for...
overwintering birds
spring migrant birds
stunning views
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
420.00 hectares
Environmentally Sensitive Area
Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Protection Areas (SPA)

On the south bank of The Swale, north of Graveney Marshes and alongsode Faversham Creek. From Brenley Corner roundabout where the A2 meets the A299 and M2, take the minor road to Graveney. Continue past Graveney for another 3km. Faversham Railway Station is 2 miles from Nagden. Access is via the public footpath, which follows landward side of the sea wall. Visitors are asked to avoid Castle Coote, as this is a prticularly sensitive area for nesting and roosting birds.
Walking information
The footpaths can be very muddy at times.
Cars may be parked on the road verge next to the sea wall, near (but not at) the Old Sportsman Inn. Wheelchair access is provided with a RADAR key. Near the Inn, there is a kissing gate for accessing teh fist 400m of the sea wall. Beyond this there are only pedestrian gates provided.
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Kevin Duvall
Tel: 01622 662012