Grid Reference: TQ 827629
Located between Maidstone and Sittingbourne, but a is 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 (reintroduced) Silver-spotted Skippers. Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns and Brown Argus as well as chalk grassland moths.
Marbled White, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Brown Argus, Adonis Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper
St Margarets Bay
Grid Reference: TR 367444
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Lydden Down & Temple Ewel
Grid Reference: TR 288445
A Kent Wildlife Trust reserve. The site is grazed with cattle and improves year on year. Park behind a disused public house. Follow the footpath up onto the Downs.
Silver-spotted Skipper, Adonis Blue, Marbled White, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Meadow Brown, Clouded Yellow.
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 miles) 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.
Swallowtails 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 Tortoiseshells & Purple Emperors. Also, the Parc ornithologique du Marquenterre which is on 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 about 75 minutes or a little less.
Allow 75 minutes on the return trip to the ferry at Calais.