On Tuesday, 24th February, we had our indoor meeting at Gravesend Masonic Hall.
Alison Ruyter gave us a presentation on “Wildlife on an urban reserve” . Alison is the Medway & Mid Kent area warden for the Kent Wildlife Trust and she told us about the range of local green spaces we have & the hidden wildlife they hold. She had in fact come straight to our talk from Darland Bank where she had been working with volunteers on scrub removal. Her talk was really interesting and very good. In the first half we discovered some of the reserves in her area, such as Darland Banks, Holborough Marsh and Queendown Warren. We found out about the special wildlife that these reserves have. After tea and coffee Alison told us about how the Kent Wildlife Trust plan for wildlife on a landscape scale and what this actually looks like on a map of the area. A lively discussion took place at the end of her talk – thanks to Alison for coming along to talk to us.
I am a great fan of local reserves and I think that we do not make enough use of them! Some of the reserves may be small but it is really amazing what wildlife can be found in them. To sort of prove the point Sally and I were in Dartford on “Robert Pocock Herbarium Project” business on Friday so we went for a walk in Central Park along the Darent to Brooklands Lake. It’s not a nature reserve of course but there was a lot to see. The river was quite impressive especially through the tunnels between the park and the lake. 20+ species of bird, some nice galls and this moorhen. I have never seen a moorhen bathing – what’s the point in that?
There were 24 mallard ducks that wanted feeding (plus a couple of “dodgy” ducks). There was a very nice “Cafe in the Park” and, for those with young children or grandchildren, a very well used childrens’ play area and we saw a green woodpecker.
Not bad for the centre of town.