Feb 202020

Here is the latest news from the RSPB reserve at Dungeness:

Reserve News Updates

We are now on social media! Find us on Facebook and very soon to be Twitter: www.facebook.com/RSPBDungeness and @RSPBDungeness for Twitter.

We have hired an excavator to carry out some work around our reserve. It is currently at the ARC pits, removing the encroaching sea buckthorn plants to create bare sand habitat which will benefit a host of species including rare mosses and plants such as Jersey cudweed, as well as mining bees and wasps. Sea buckthorn is a spiky shrub with bitter orange berries. Although not invasive, they spread very quickly and can take over if not managed correctly. The excavator is helping to do this job quickly and has saved days of work by our warden and our reserve team. Thank you to Affinity Water who have funded the use of the excavator to carry out this important and much needed work.

Work has also been done to remove some old willow trees from the edge of the nature trail between Makepeace and Scott hide. This will reduce the amount of pruning we need to do in the summer as well as promoting fresh growth of young willow and reed plus of course opening up the view onto the New Excavations pit as you walk past!

Wildlife highlights on the reserve this month have been the sheer number of cormorants fighting for space on our currently tiny islands. We’ve had a male smew since the start of January and a female was spotted on the reserve yesterday too! Goldeneye are a type of wintering duck and they are very striking birds, we’ve had a few pairs seen on various pits on the reserve. We’ve also had reports of the great crested grebes starting their amazing weed dance and courtship. Firecrests are tiny birds that have been seen regularly along the edges of Burrowes Pit, mostly in front of our visitor centre and Firth hide.

We are looking for volunteers!

We have some volunteer positions available on the reserve and we need your help. Got a little bit of spare time to help save nature? See if you are the right person for any of these roles below:

  • Reserve Team Volunteers: 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 or Thursday, 9am-4pm. Please contact the reserve on 01797 320588 and ask for Craig or email craig.edwards@rspb.org.uk
  • Visitor Centre Volunteers: 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 Gareth or email gareth.brookfield@rspb.org.uk
  • Children Events Volunteers: Want to help inspire the next generation about wildlife? We are looking for children and family event helpers for a series of events we run throughout the year on the nature reserve. We hope to inspire young families to get outdoors and develop a lifelong love of nature. We need volunteers to help us run these activities which range from Nature Tots leaders (mid-week sessions for children under 5 and their parents/carers) to Wild Family events (longer sessions for children age 5-12) and occasionally assisting with any bookings from uniformed youth groups such as Scouts and Guides. These sessions will be from 2-4 hours long and can be run on any day of the week (subject to staff and volunteer availability), peaking during the school holidays and spring/summer season. If you have experience working with children and have a passion for wildlife then please call Louise on 01797320588 or email louise.kelly@rspb.org.uk

All training for these roles will be provided and you will be fully inducted into your voluntary role with the RSPB. We run annual events for our volunteers which you will be invited to, in thanks for your hard work.


Wildlife Walk

Wednesday 18 March

10.30am – 12.30pm

This walk is for everyone with a keen interest in wildlife! March can deliver us all sorts of animals. If the weather has been mild enough, we might see an early butterfly or bumblebee. March time also brings in early migrants to the country and is the last chance to spot our wintering birds such as the pintail or firecrest before they head north again. Join a knowledgeable guide on a walk around the reserve and see what delights you can spot at this time of year. 
Adult £7. Child £3.50.

20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.


Bird Watching for Beginners

Saturday 28 March

11am – 1pm

Love birds but want to know more about them? Then come on a spring-time walk around our reserve with a friendly guide with expert knowledge on all things feathery! 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.


Nature Tots

Thursday 5 & 19 March, Thursday 2, 16 & 30 April

10.15am – 12pm

Come and join us for outdoor fun and early learning at Dungeness. Fortnightly guided sessions for 2-5 year olds and their parents/carers. Each season has a different theme encouraging exploration, creation and imagination!Snack, drink and story included with the session.

£5 per child per session, pre-walkers free with paying tot. 20% discount for RSPB members.


Bittern Breakfast

Saturday 11, Sunday 19 & Saturday 25 April

7am – 10am

Want to experience one of Dungeness’s most

marvellous spectacles? Come on a sunrise walk and
listen to the distinctive call of our booming bitterns echoing from the reedbeds. Jump out of bed, join us for an experience to
remember, and round it all off with a tasty cooked breakfast!

Adult £20. Child £10.
20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers. Please pay in advance.


Spring Migration Walk

Wednesday 15 April

10.30am – 12.30pm

If you’re a beginner or an expert bird watcher, this walk is for all people fascinated by birds! Come and see which birds visit
Dungeness in the spring time to feed and breed here. From swallows to terns and everything in between, this is the walk for you if you want to learn more about our overseas visitors as well as the birds that stay here all year round. Led by a friendly guide with expert knowledge on all things feathery!

Adult £7. Child £3.50.

20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.


Easter Holiday Events!


Wild Families at Easter

Tuesday 7 & Wednesday 15 April

11am – 3pm

Packed full of activities, our Wild Families Day gives you a chance to get up close and personal with nature here at Dungeness. From pond dipping and Easter egg hunting to den building and bug catching, there is plenty to keep you busy throughout the day! Please wear sensible clothing and bring a packed lunch with you.

Child £8. Accompanying adults £2.

20% discount for Wildlife Explorers.


Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday 4 – Sunday 19 April

Drop in any time between 10am – 4pm.

No need to book in advance.

Come for a day out with the family to explore our wonderful reserve. Pick up an activity sheet from the desk at the visitor centre and explore the trail to see if you can find all the eggs that have been hidden! There’s a prize if you can find them all!

£1 per activity sheet.

Fees apply to walk the nature trail.




Check out our website www.rspb.org.uk/dungeness for more details about all our events.

 Posted by on 20 February 2020 at 12:00 pm

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