Kent, Our Kent: Come into the garden…

We’re gratetful to Mike Cockett for sending in a couple of lovely shots from his garden to embellish our Kent, Our Kent feature.
“Too late to catch the clematis armandii,” says Mike. No matter, these shots are just the job.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Kent, Our Kent: beautiful bluebells, from any angle

The bluebells in our woodlands are now starting to fade, or ‘go over’, so we’d better move quickly to include this selection of images from Vicky Ellis in Kent, Our Kent.
“Some of them are at a bit of an odd angle, but I like being creative,” said Vicky.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Kent, Our Kent: a delightful view from the saddle

We are indebted to Alex Hills for today’s Kent, Our Kent contribution. Alex is CPRE Kent’s Gravesham district chairman and also a keen cyclist…

Today’s ride was to test my legs after a week off the bike and to test it out after the wheel was repaired.
From home it was a short run down the A227 and out along the cycle path to Thong. Then it was a drop down to Lower Higham Road, which is a bleak but beautiful area on the Gravesend-Higham border. This area is always winding, being next to the River Thames, but the light means the colours are always changing.
Then there were some big breaths before a lung-busting climb back up to the Cobham war memorial, which is one of my key local markers. The views from Cobhambury Road always recharge my soul and, with less air pollution, the views are better than ever.
I never tire of the beauty of the views despite my tendency to hit high speeds on this downhill section, which has no sharp bends or potholes so is very much cycling heaven.

Next is a short run along the valley floor, stopping off to check on a local badger sett. Checking on setts while on rides is something I try to do as often as I can as it means someone else does not have to make a special trip out and gives me a focus to the ride.
When I get to the now-quiet Golden Lion pub, it is down through the gears for the long climb up Henley Street, going past the very good beer pub The Cock Inn.
At the top of the hill a few lanes take me to Whitepost Lane, which leads into Nurstead Church Lane. This wonderful road covered over in trees looks different each time I go down it.
Even though this is a few minutes from my house and I cycle down it at least twice a week, I always look forward to cycling along this road. Near the top is the old Nurstead Church – I am pagan so have never been in it but the outside has a medieval feel about it.
After the church it was a dash across the A227 before a test of nerve down the steep, twisting Park Pale Road and then down through the gears for the climb back up the other side.

Heart pounding, lungs heaving at Stony Corner, I was rewarded with a great view. From there is a short drop down the very dangerous Walnut Hill Road before another short run and a final climb home.
Living on top of a hill means tired legs always have one more climb before a welcome brew and rest. People say you take for granted the beauty on your doorstep, but I never have, which is probably why I fight so hard to protect it.
Since the lockdown the speed of cars has increased – please, please keep your speed down. Driving in the countryside, you must never go faster than you can stop and around every bend you must assume there will be a horse, cyclist or walker.

If you like to contribute to Kent, Our Kent, please send your photos and a brief description to david.mairs@cprekent.org.uk

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Kent, Our Kent: the beauty way out west

The viewpoint from Roughway, near Plaxtol, overlooking Hadlow
Bluebells in Mereworth Woods
Apple blossom in Hadlow

Today’s contribution for Kent, Our Kent comes from Jackie Moxey.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Jackie is daughter of Tricia Moxey, once of this county and now vice-chairman of CPRE Essex.
The pictures were taken on a walk in the Hadlow and Plaxtol area. Thanks, Jackie!

If you like to contribute to Kent, Our Kent, please send your photos and a brief description to david.mairs@cprekent.org.uk

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Ranscombe Farm nature reserve in the frame

What a view… we hope they appreciate it!
Close to the bustling Medway Towns, the reserve is an oasis of calm

We are indebted to Kirsty Field for today’s images for Kent, Our Kent.
They were taken at Ranscombe Plantlife Nature Reserve, near Cuxton.
If you like to contribute to Kent, Our Kent, please send your photos and a brief description to david.mairs@cprekent.org.uk

Benenden Blue: it’s not a cheese, so what is it?

A shade over a week ago, we asked for photographs of Kent that showed our county in its glory. The brief for Kent, Our Kent was wide-ranging (see here) and included anything from images of places we’re looking forward to seeing again to shots taken on our daily exercise walks.
We have had an encouraging response, so thanks to all of you who have got back to us with pictures. We share the first of them here and there are many more to follow. Hopefully, you will be encouraged to send in your own contributions.
Today’s shots come from our Tunbridge Wells chair, Liz Akenhead. She describes the first: “The Benenden Blue rosemary on my terrace has been flowering for weeks and it’s constantly buzzing with various sorts of bee and hoverfly.
“It’s a wonderful decorative plant named after a beautiful Kent village, and it’s good to cook with, too.”

A bee savours the delights of Benenden Blue


The second captures (in the nicest possible way) a striking-looking mammal. “It’s one of the three white squirrels we sometimes see in our garden,” said Liz.

No missing this white squirrel!

Thanks to Liz. Everyone else, get snapping!
In the meantime, take care and stay safe…

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Kent, Our Kent

We can’t get to the wildlife as much as we would like, but the wildlife can sometimes come to us… this herring gull is almost a family pet at one Broadstairs household

With the exception of care workers and essential staff, each one of the rest of us is under serious but essential restriction of movement. However, we can dream and share moments of happier times that will return… and maybe lighten our days.
At CPRE Kent we are inviting anyone (of all ages) in the county to share with us photographs and perhaps a short description of any of the following:

  • A virtual walk in the countryside. Photos and memories of past walks.
  • Exercise walks, runs or cycle rides that abide by the current restrictions. Photos and short descriptions of things that have given you pleasure:
    • new places that you discovered 
    • landmark
    • building
    • vehicle
    • animal
    • garden
    • people exercising in different ways
    • bird
    • tree
    • peculiar sight
    • road
    • flower
  • Places we are most looking forward to getting back to when this situation is over.
  • Home: have we learnt anything new about the nature viewed from our home?

How do I enter?
Just send your photo with a brief description of context and circumstances to:
david.mairs@cprekent.org.uk

It may make someone in Kent feel a little less isolated and happier. So do take part.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020