My memories of Polhill

My memories of Polhill

Noted local botanist Joyce Pitt recalls her memories of Polhill Bank. Joyce has worked as a volunteer for Kent Wildlife Trust for many years, including as an Honorary Warden of the reserve.

~ By Joyce Pitt

I have known Polhill for almost fifty years. The bank was a favourite place for family picnics and for children to play roly-poly. Snowy winter visits were good for sledging and it became part of our Traditional Boxing Day walk via Shoreham village. I remember it as open grassland with chalk herbs and many orchids including bee, pyramidal, fragrant, common spotted and man.

Rabbits kept the scrub at bay at the northwestern end where the rare Kentish milkwort could be found hanging onto the bare chalk above the entrance to the railway tunnel.

The magnificent tall beech trees above the bank with their low hanging branches made excellent swings and climbing frames for small children. These trees were felled in the great storm of 1987; the wind swept along the wooded slopes and brought down most of the trees.

Polhill is a place of happy memories of friends, or flowers and fungi, or birds and butterflies and of splendid views of the Darenth Valley’s patchwork of fields and small woods.

We thank Joyce Pitt for her wonderful memories of Polhill. This year, you can help Kent Wildlife Trust write the next chapter in the history of Polhill and give it a future. This way people will be able to enjoy Polhill in the same way as Joyce for generations to come. Visit our Polhill web page for more information.