Hothfield Heathlands

Introduction

Hothfield Heathlands

Encompassing Kent’s last surviving valley bog and one of its few remaining heathlands, Hothfield Common is a very special nature reserve.

Key habitats:
Bog, heathland, grassland, fen, ponds, woodland

Ownership/management:
Ashford Borough Council, Kent Wildlife Trust

Size:
83 ha

Designations:
Site of Special Scientific Interest, Local Nature Reserve

Facilities available at this site

  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Waymarked Trail
  • Interpretation Panels

About the Site

A diverse landscape unusual in Kent, Hothfield Heathlands has Kent’s only remaining valley bog habitat, along with heathland, acid grassland, fen, ponds and woodland.

Agricultural modernisation and other factors have led to losses of these habitats and left the common as an oasis for rare and specialised wildlife such as the sundew. Like the Venus fly-trap, this tiny plant is carnivorous, enticing insects with sweet dew-like liquid on its leaves, which then envelop its victim. Other bog-dwelling plants include bog asphodel and the sphagnum mosses which, when they die, form the layers of peat in the mire. The bog is a sensitive habitat that must not be walked on – please keep to the boardwalks on site.

The reserve is carefully managed, by grazing and other means, to conserve its plants, insects (including many dragonflies, which can be seen in summer) and other wildlife, including lichens, fungi, veteran trees, superb insect fauna (including the keeled skimmer dragonfly), amphibians (including great crested newt) and good bird fauna (including the tree pipit).

Visiting

By car

Parking and main access on Cade Road, which is off the A20 near Hothfield village.

By bus

Route numbers 123 and 10x run close to the site

 

Transport Links to this site

  • Bus

Hothfield Heathlands Photo Gallery

Click images to view larger