Nov 152018
Cattle Egret at Dungeness

Here is this month’s news from the RSPB reserve at Dungeness:

Reserve News Updates

Our winter work programme has started on the reserve and this mainly consists of maintaining our Oppen Pits. These pits are natural dips in the shingle ridges which built up over time when the Dungeness peninsula was created by the wind and waves. These pits are important natural bodies of water on the reserve. We look after the wildlife that inhabits these pools, particularly the protected great crested newts who use the Oppen Pits to breed in. The Warden and work parties time is spent cutting dominating willow away from the edges of the pools, dragging it off the shingle and burning it. The removal of the willow allows light into the pool so the vegetation can grow. This fen habitat provides the all-important breeding ground for great crested newts as well as an open space for water birds to live on.

The half-term holiday was busy with lots of people visiting our reserve during a spell of sunny, dry weather. We hosted activities for families to take part in which included our ‘Wild Things’ activities (which included pond dipping, minibeast hunting, bird feeder making and monster creating!) as well as a self-led trail to find hidden spiders around the reserve.

Birds are still migrating through the reserve and we have already welcomed some winter visitors. Spoonbills were seen feeding on Burrowes Pit yesterday. We’ve had black-necked and Slavonian grebes on our pits, great white and cattle egrets in the fields as well as flocks of redwing and fieldfare. Look out for firecrests and goldcrests on the reserve at this time of year. Although resident in this country, their numbers increase over winter as migrant birds join us from Scandinavia. These tiny birds are also much easier to see in trees without their leaves!

Volunteering opportunity!

Want to try something different? Then volunteer for RSPB Dungeness! We need people who are willing to help our reserve team of staff and volunteers with important conservation tasks around the reserve. Get up close to nature and see a different side of our spectacular reserve by undertaking a variety of habitat management and site maintenance tasks. Opportunities available every Tuesday and Thursday, 9am-4pm. Please contact the reserve on 01797 320588 and ask for Craig or

If you don’t fancy all that manual work, the visitor centre is also looking for friendly and chatty volunteers to help manage our counter and reception area. Volunteer for a full day or half a day based on a rota that is flexible around you. If you love talking to people, particularly about wildlife and are happy to serve people in our shop then please call the reserve on 01797 320588 and ask for Mary or email


Our Winter Fair is coming up on Sunday 9th December. If you can, please display or print our poster (attached to this email) – we’d love some more advertising to make this a success. We are looking to turn this into more of a community event and we have local stallholders selling their wares on the day. There are activities for children to take part in as well as free mulled wine, guided walks and a raffle.  

There is plenty to see and do at RSPB Dungeness! See below or check out our website for more details about all our events.

Upcoming Events!

To book contact 01797 320 588 or

Booking is essential for all events apart from free ‘drop-in’ events.

RSPB members benefit from 20% discount on event prices where stated.

Children attending events must be accompanied by adults.


Wildlife Events


Christmas Cracker Hunt

Saturday 8 December – Sunday 6 January

Drop in any time between 10am and 3pm

Can you answer all the cracker jokes by finding the Christmas crackers which have been hidden around the reserve? Pop in any time and have a go at this self-led trail. There’s a small prize if you can find them all!

£1 per participant plus entry fee to walk the trail (entry free for RSPB members)


Winter Fair

Sunday 9 December

11am – 4pm

Join us for a wonderful winter wildlife fair! We will be hosting Christmas arts and crafts activities all day in the visitor centre and there will be local craft and produce stalls, free mulled wine, guided walks as well as a raffle and a Christmas treasure hunt for the children. Just pop in any time during the day and enjoy a lovely wintry day at Dungeness packed full of activities!

Free. Entry fees apply to walk the nature trail (free for RSPB members).


Winter Wildlife Walk

Wednesday 12 December

10.30am – 12.30pm

Come and join us on a guided walk to see which birds and wildlife visit and live at Dungeness in the winter time. Wrap up warm and brave the cold to look for an array of wildlife from stoats to smew and blue tits to buzzards. Led by a friendly guide with expert knowledge on the wildlife at Dungeness. It’s a fantastic time of year to see a range of bird species and other wildlife on the reserve and if we’re lucky, Dungeness looks stunning on a crisp frosty day so bring your cameras!

Adult £7. Child £3.50.

20% discount for RSPB members

& Wildlife Explorers.


Birdwatching for Beginners

Sunday 6 January

11am – 1pm

Love birds but want to know more about them? Have a New Year’s resolution to start a new hobby? Then blow off the Christmas cobwebs and come on a winter walk around our reserve with a friendly guide who will help you identify the birds and their calls along the way. And don’t worry if you don’t own a pair of binoculars, they are available to hire from the visitor centre for a small fee.

Adult £7. Child £3.50.

20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.


Winter Wildlife Walk

Wednesday 16 January

10.30am – 12.30pm


Big Garden Birdwatch

Saturday 19 January

11am – 1pm

Joining in our Annual Big Garden Birdwatch this year? Then come and get prepared for it by learning about the birds you might see in your garden. Learn about what food birds love and make some suet cakes to take home with you for those hungry birds in your garden. For more information about the Big Garden Birdwatch, give us a call or check out our website:

Adults £7. Children £3.50.

20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.



Sound Mirror Events


Photography Days

Get up close and personal with the Sound Mirrors. These events are for individuals who wish to view and photograph, sketch or paint the Sound Mirrors. With a limited number of people on the site it is a great opportunity for quiet reflection and a chance to view the mirrors without the busy crowds of the open day.

(Evening) Monday 19th November, 2.30pm-5pm

(Evening) Wednesday 12th December, 2pm – 4.30pm

£35 per person. Please meet at the entrance to Lade Pits, off Leonard Road, Greatstone, TN28 8RZ

 Posted by on 15 November 2018 at 12:37 pm

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