Hothfield Heather

Photo by Ian Rickards

Hothfield Heathlands

Beth Hukins

Wood pasture at Hothfield Heathland

Photo by Ian Rickards

Cattle grazing at Hothfield

Photo by Ian Rickards

Cardinal beetle on a leaf

Photo by Ian Rickards

Rich in flora and fauna, this important reserve contains Kent's last four valley bogs and one of its few remaining fragments of open heath.

Location

Cades Road, Maidstone Road (A20), Hothfield, Ashford, Kent, TN24 1HD
Hothfield village, Ashford Town
Kent
CT4 1HD

OS Map Reference

TQ 972 459
A static map of Hothfield Heathlands

Know before you go

Size
86 hectares

Entry fee

None

Parking information

Large car park with 2.2m height barrier.

Bicycle parking

None

Grazing animals

Cattle ponies and sheep at various times of the year. Please see information boards for current livestock location.

Walking trails

Yes, 4 waymarked routes.

Access

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 

Dogs

Under effective control
Well behaved dogs welcome. Please consider wildlife and other visitors by keeping dogs under control at all time. Some areas require dogs to be on leads, please follow instructions.

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All 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. 

Contact us

Ian Rickards
Contact number: 01622 662012

Environmental designation

Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Local Wildlife Site (LWS)
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Location map