Hatch Park

Introduction

Hatch Park

A beautiful deer park of 190 acres with a free grazing herd of around 100 Fallow deer which were established in the 17th Century.

Key Habitats:

Acidic grassland, woodland, ponds, marshy grassland, veteran trees

Ownership/Management:

PRIVATEĀ (PLEASE KEEP TO PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY)

Size:

72 ha

Designations:

Site of Special Scientific Interest

Facilities available at this site

  • Parking
  • Interpretation Panels
  • Take A Map

About the Site

This site is of special interest for its unimproved acidic grassland, a scarce habitat in Kent, and its ancient pollard woodlands, the latter supporting the richest epiphytic lichen community in the county.

The acidic grassland is the remnant of a formerly much more extensive deerpark, and the turf here is believed to have remained unbroken for the last 500 years. Heath bedstraw, birdsfoot and upright chickweed can be found here, the last two being scarce in Kent.

Associated with the deer park are several artificial ponds with adjacent areas of marshy grassland. The latter harbours several plants which are uncommon in Kent, including bottle sedge, marsh speedwell and lousewort. There is also an acidic flush dominated by bog mosses and rushes as well as a small area of dense sallow species scrub.

The woodlands are varied, but most are of ancient origin with pollarded oak and hornbeam predominating. Pollarding has been practised on the site since medieval times, and this is one of the very few examples remaining in Britain of actively managed pollard woodland. There are also some small plantations consisting mainly of broad-leaved trees. The mature trees and pollards support 101 species of lichen.The ground flora is generally sparse; bracken and bluebells are the most frequent species with dog’s mercury and rose-bay willow-herb occurring locally.

The site is also of importance for the mature timber habitat, supporting beetles and hole-nesting birds such as nuthatch, stock dove and three species of woodpecker.

PLEASE NOTE MANY PARTS OF THE PARK ARE NOT PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE – PLEASE KEEP TO FOOTPATHS

 

Visiting

PLEASE KEEP TO PUBLIC FOOTPATHS AT ALL TIMES

By car

From the A20 between Ashford and Folkestone, turn onto Bockham Lane, then right into Quarrington Lane. The car park and entrance is on the right on a bend in the lane.

By bus

Route numbers 10 and 12 run along the A20 close to the deer park.

Transport Links to this site

  • Bus

Hatch Park Photo Gallery

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