Darland moths
Green fritillary  by Kevin Tolhurst

Green fritillary  by Kevin Tolhurst

Darland Banks
Sweeping panoramic views are not what you expect to find in the heart of the Medway towns but this site has long defied convention. This is our most diverse reserve which is home to the largest population of Man Orchids in the country.

Location

Darland Avenue
Gillingham
Kent
ME7 3ER

OS Map Reference

TQ785659
A static map of Darland Banks

Know before you go

Size
45 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Limited car parking available at the junction of Darland Avenue and Kingsway.

Bicycle parking

No

Grazing animals

Cattle on all year round

Walking trails

Paths are steep and uneven in places.

Access

There are some medium mobility kissing gates/chicane, The paths are grass and narrow, some are steep and uneven channelled, When wet the paths are slippery on exposed chalk.

Dogs

Dogs permitted
Keep dogs on a lead around the livestock

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

May to August

About the reserve

Some of our rarest and most threatened species thrive on this restored chalk grassland just a stone’s throw from one of Kent’s biggest conurbations - Straw belle moth, Small blue butterfly, Yellowhammer and Roman snail to name but a few. 

Human history has played its part in creating the diversity. Large blocks of concrete from an anti-aircraft gun emplacement provides shelter for reptiles, backfilled WWII practise trenches are filled with Man Orchids, Red star thistle established here when it was used by people with horse drawn wagons and each year a different vegetable pops up in the most recently cleared areas.

There is an amazing team of volunteers and members of the public who help to keep this site looking it best. Helping with everything from winter scrub clearance and fence repair to plant surveys and rubbish collection. It’s a real team effort.

Contact us

Alison Ruyter
Contact number: 01622 662012

Environmental designation

Local Nature Reserve (LNR)