Know before you go
Parking informationLarge car park with 2.2m height barrier.
Grazing animalsCattle ponies and sheep at various times of the year. Please see information boards for current livestock location.
Yes, 4 waymarked routes.
Compacted sand/ gravel car park. Access to reserve across the road and through Medium mobility kissing gate. A number of marked circular routes. Upright signboards, tactile waymarkers. Paths and boardwalks are narrow and steep in places. Can be soft and slippery after rain
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
A visit to Hothfield Heathlands is a visit to one the last remaining heathlands in Kent. After walking through a narrow canopy of broadleaved trees, you break through to reveal the wide-open landscape of Hothfield heathlands. The spring will bring with it the fresh green growth of Heather, gorse and a myriad of tiny plants.
The coconut scented gorse bushes provide the perfect perch for many bird species, Yellowhammers, White Throat and Willow Warblers all sing boldly from these prickly bushes. Make sure you keep an eye on the floor too, the finger-sized holes of the minotaur beetle are scattered liberally across the bare ground, while the metallic Green Tiger Beetle will be buzzing vigorously around your feet.
A series of waymarked paths allow you to explore most of this unique site, with boardwalks allowing access to some of the wettest parts of the reserve. These wet bogs are home to a wonderful collection of rare plants, many of whom are found only at Hothfield. Carnivorous Round Leaved Sundew, cotton grass, bog asphodel and heath spotted orchids are amongst the most dramatic.
The reserve is managed by Kent Wildlife Trust on behalf of Ashford Borough Council.