Friday, 28 November 2008

Worth the Walk?

It is a few months since the RSPB announced that it was in the process of buying 235 hectares (581 acres) of Lydden Valley, an area of farmland and grazing marsh south of Sandwich.

I walked out, this evening, from worth, towards the general area. I must admit I haven't been able to find a map of the exact area that is going to become a reserve. On the OS map, the area labelled Lydden Valley seems to straddle the railway , between Worth and Foulmead Farm. It was a cold evening and my only companions were the grazing sheep, and they had their thick woollies on.
I was hoping to see one or two of the Owls that sometimes have been seem in the evening out here, but unfortunately they had more sense than me and didn't appear. What I did notice was a very large number of Blackbirds, Thrushes and Buntings coming in to roost as it got dark.

I think I was overlooking part of the marsh that will become the RSPB "Lydden Valley" reserve, and although the weather was horrible it was still exciting to be out on a piece of drained marshland that could, in the future, be returned to it former glory.

This is what the Kent Reserves Manager Alan Parker said:' I’ve spent most of my working life with the RSPB in Kent and this is the most exciting opportunity I have ever seen.

'Several linked pieces of farmland in the Lydden Valley have become available to buy at the same time but we have to act fast, I can’t imagine an opportunity like this coming up again in my lifetime.

'I’ve been talking to some of the people who grew up in the villages and farms in this area, and the wildlife they describe here when they were young sounds like another world. Species that have declined could be seen regularly.'

I've known Alan for more years than he or I would like to admit and he isn't someone to exaggerate, so I'm sure that this could become a really important wildlife reserve.

No comments: