Bough Beech

Update

Bough Beech

Bough Beech. Photo by Selwyn Dennis.

What's changing?

After very careful consideration, consultation, and an enormous amount of hard work by staff and Trustees to ensure the best possible outcome, the difficult decision has been made to withdraw from the management of Bough Beech Nature Reserve.

Management of the site has been carried out by Kent Wildlife Trust as part of a lease for Bough Beech with its owners SES Water.

Kent Wildlife Trust is committed to ensuring that our supporters’ money is used responsibly to maximise positive outcomes for nature and wildlife. As a registered charity operating in very challenging times, we have to look very carefully at the resources we have available to us and make decisions about how to best allocate these to achieve our charitable objectives and deliver our far-reaching and ambitious strategy.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of our staff and volunteers, Bough Beech has failed for several years to generate sufficient income to offset what it costs Kent Wildlife Trust to operate the centre and manage the reserve. It is not possible to justify putting further money towards it versus investing in other areas and projects that will generate much more significant conservation impact.

Decisions such as this are never taken lightly, which is why we consider it a matter of high priority to communicate clearly the reasons behind this to all who hold Bough Beech close to their hearts.

The timescale for relinquishing the lease is yet to be confirmed. We are actively trying to find a way to run the events due to be held at Bough Beech over the rest of 2019 irrespective of our withdrawal from the site. The West Kent local group are fully aware of the situation and we are keeping them updated as things evolve.

We hope this demonstrates that we are doing our best to make this process as tolerable as possible to those who have been intimately involved with Bough Beech over the years. We have been heartened that others we have spoken to have understood the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in and have remained positive about finding other ways to support Kent Wildlife Trust in delivery its vision in their local area. We are extremely grateful for all the time and effort you dedicate to supporting the Trust and trying to conserve Kent’s wildlife.

Frequently asked questions

When is this change happening?

The timescale for relinquishing the lease is yet to be confirmed.

Who owns Bough Beech?

Bough Beech is owned by SES Water.

How has Bough Beech been managed until now?

Management of the site has been carried out by Kent Wildlife Trust as part of a lease with SES Water.

What’s happening to the visitor centre?

The oast house ceased operating as a visitor centre in 2017.

Why is Kent Wildlife Trust stepping away from Bough Beech?

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of our staff and volunteers, Bough Beech has failed for several years to generate sufficient income to offset what it costs Kent Wildlife Trust to operate the centre and manage the reserve. It is not possible to justify putting further money towards it versus investing in other areas and projects that will generate much more significant conservation impact.

What will happen to events due to take place at Bough Beech?

We are actively trying to find a way to run the events due to be held at Bough Beech over the rest of 2019 irrespective of our withdrawal from the site.