insideKENT Magazine insideKENT October 2018 Issue 79 - Page 103

DAYSOUT KENT’S WONDERFUL Wildlife Walks KENT HAS A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING, AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT SUCH AN EXCITING PLACE TO LIVE IN, AS WELL AS TO VISIT. THE WILDLIFE WE HAVE HERE IS SOME OF THE MOST DIVERSE AND FASCINATING IN THE COUNTRY, DUE MAINLY TO OUR EQUALLY DIVERSE AND FASCINATING WOODLAND AND COUNTRYSIDE. WE HAVE ANCIENT TREES IN FORESTS THAT ARE TEEMING WITH LIFE ALONGSIDE 350 MILES OF COASTLINE AND BEACHES. THEN THERE ARE THE BARREN – YET SO VERY MUCH ALIVE – MARSHES AND THE FAMOUS KENT DOWNS, NOT TO MENTION THE MANY WILDLIFE AND NATURE RESERVES THAT ARE DOTTED AROUND THE GARDEN OF ENGLAND. IF IT IS WILDLIFE YOU WANT TO SPOT, A WALK IN KENT IS WHERE YOU NEED TO START. Knole Park Knole Park // Sevenoaks Jeskyns Country Park // Gravesend Visiting Knole Park you won’t fail to find yourself surrounded by nature. There are the deer to begin with. With around 500 deer calling Knole home, every visit is going to involve coming across them somehow, either in the park or close to the stately home that Henry VIII once owned. These deer are what has made Knole Park famous and visitors are asked to keep a respectful distance to ensure that the deer are kept safe and sound so that they can enjoy their home in peace. Although the deer may be what Knole is known for, there is plenty of other wildlife to find as you walk through its 1,000 acres. This includes – rather surprisingly but wonderfully – a flock of parakeet that likes to fly over the park. There are even some rare insects and invertebrates here too. Knole is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so it is able to be a thriving habitat for all kinds of wildlife. To get the most out of Knole, you can join in with a guided tour. These tours run every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and last for around 45 minutes. Jeskyns Country Park just outside of Gravesend is a great spot to take a stroll in nature. It’s ideal for walking the dog, or simply walking yourself, and it has a café, a variety of trails and even things for the little ones to do such as following Julia Donaldson-themed trails and play areas. There are woodlands, ponds, wildflower meadows and orchards to explore, each one offering a unique and sustainable habitat for Kent’s many species of wildlife. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knole www.forestry.gov.uk/jeskyns Leybourne Lakes // Snodland There is a lot to do at Leybourne Lakes, the Green Flag award-winning country park near to Larkfield, including scuba diving, canoeing, fishing, walking, cycling and even windsurfing. This 93-hectare park is made up of woodland, marshland and grassland, making it the ideal habitat for wildlife of all descriptions and is in fact a designated local wildlife site. www.tmbc.gov.uk/services/leisure-and-culture/ parks-and-open-spaces/parks-and-open-spaces-outdoor-facilities/ leybourne-lakes-country-park 103