Kent Branch Hotspots

Kent Branch Hotspots

Welcome to our "Hotspots" pages. On these pages are recommended places to visit.

We would like to hear from you if you have any places you would recommend adding to our list, in Kent, the UK or Abroad. Please contact Ben Kirby.

 


 

Kent Hotspots

Qweendown Warren

Grid Reference:  TQ 827629 

Information:

Located between Maidstone and Sittingbourne, but a bit hidden away amongst the narrow lanes.
A Kent Wildlife Trust site that has been extended in recent years to increase the amount of classic chalk grassland. On a sunny day, with the thyme and marjoram in flower, it is literally heaving with Common, Chalkhill and a few Adonis Blues.

As well as the commoner Skippers, there is a colony of (re introduced) Silver-spotted Skippers.  Marbled Whites ,Meadow Browns and Brown Argus as well as chalk grassland moths.

Key Species:

Marbled White, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Brown Argus, Adonis Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper

Photos: 

 Brown Argus  Silver-Spotted Skipper  Silver-Spotted Skipper
 Photo © Keith Heaven   Photo © Keith Heaven   Photo © Keith Heaven

Many thanks to Keith Heaven for providing this Hotspot and his photos. 

 


 

St Margarets Bay

Grid Reference:  TR 367444

Information:

Park along the lane by the Pines Gardens/Museum, or down in the (pay) car park by the beach. Don't try to park on the road leading down to the sea, as it is far too steep and narrow.

Walk 1

You can walk to the South, towards the South Foreland Lighthouse (National Trust) on the chalk grassland along the cliffs. For a list of butterflies likely to be seen on this walk, please see the "Key Species" section.

Walk 2

On a nice day, it's not too taxing to walk all the way to the National Trust cafe on the cliffs above Dover. Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion moths can be seen. For a list of butterflies likely to be seen on this walk, please see the "Key Species" section.

Walk 3

Walk north towards the Dover patrol monument . This is another cliff-top ramble with similar species of butterflies, as walk 2, but, also three years ago, Dark Green Fritillaries were seen. Typical of the species, though, they haven't been seen since! There is another cafe at the monument.

Both walks 2 & 3 are enhanced by views of the sea and of the French coast, though the surfaces are very uneven in some places so not suitable for people with walking difficulties. Both cafes can be driven to, so it would be possible to enjoy a good range of butterflies around the cafes without needing to be very mobile.

Key Species:

Walk 1 - Marbled White, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Brown Argus, Various Skippers
Walks 2 & 3 - Adonis Blue, Small Blue (in the right season) , Wall Brown.

Photos: 

 Chalkhill Blue  Chalkhill Blue
 Photo © Keith Heaven   Photo © Keith Heaven

Many thanks to Keith Heaven for providing this Hotspot and his photos. 

 


 

Lydden Down & Temple Ewel

Grid Reference:  TR 288445

Information:

A Kent Wildlife Trust reserve. The site is grazed with cattle and improves year on year. Park behind disused public house. Follow the footpath up onto the Downs.

Key Species:

Silver-spotted Skipper, Adonis Blue, Marbled White, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Meadow Brown, Clouded Yellow.

Photos: 

 Silver-Spotted Skipper
 Photo © Keith Heaven

Many thanks to Keith Heaven for his photo. 


Abroad Hotspots

Sailly Bay (France)

Information & Directions:

From Calais/Boulene drive south on the A16 & come off at Exit 24.

Pick up the N1 south to NOUVION (about 2 mites) Turn RIGHT & pick up a minor road to Bonelle, this is just north of Sailly Bray. Through Bonelle a tiny hamlet turn left NOT straight on to Ponthoile. Now on a farm track but perfectly drivable with a marsh on your see and arable on a slight rise to your right.

Swallowtail's have been seen on the marsh and the Map butterfly towards the end of the track, near the first building on the LEFT of the track.

While in the area you should visit Crecy Forest, Large Tortoiseshell's & Purple Emperor's. Also the Parc ornithologique du Marquenterre which is the coast west of Crotoy, well signposted.

This whole area is superb for birds and no doubt could turn up some interesting butterflies particularly in the Forest. The motorway journey takes abut 75 minutes or a little less.

Allow 75 minutes on the return trip to the ferry at Calais.

Photos: 

 Lesser Purple Emperor
 Photo © Dennis Whittaker

Many thanks to Dennis Whittaker for his photo and John W for the hotspot