News archive

June 2017

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Cuckoo perched in tree

Cuckoos and Nightingales

We heard a cuckoo calling on Tonbridge Water Meadows this week which was probably already on its passage back to Africa.

According to the BTO the first of their tagged cuckoos has now left the UK after being here for just one month. Both cuckoo and nightingale populations have suffered terrible declines in the last forty years and the BTO is carrying out more research to try to understand the key factors causing this, and what can be done to help.

They say: The English cuckoo population has declined faster than that of most other birds, decreasing by 75% since 1967. The nightingale population has plummeted even faster, resulting in a staggering 90% drop in the same period, with a contraction of 40% in its British geographical range. If this long-term trend continues it is possible that the nightingale could become extinct from Britain as a breeding species in the coming decades.

For the cuckoos they will be using ultra lightweight tracking tags and hope to put these on female cuckoos so they can find out more about their migration patterns. They will be looking further at the data from the National Nightingale Survey, which helped influence decisions about the future of the UK's best site for nightingale at Lodge Hill in Kent and also look at data collected from Ghana to see what happens outside the breeding season.

Friday, 9 June 2017

News from the Weald Reserves

We have had not had time this month to put together an update due to all the exciting things going on at the reserve such as running the 10 events celebrating the 10 year anniversary at Broadwater Warren, building a pond dipping platform for children's education, and monitoring all the fantastic wildlife out on our reserves. We will update you in full in next month's email, but in the mean time I encourage you to get out to the reserve and experience the nature we work so hard for to protect.

The meadow at Tudeley Woods is a sea of orchids and other wildflowers, silver washed fritillary butterflies are bombing around the rides at Fore Wood, and a honey buzzard has been seen at Broadwater Warren, so there is plenty to see wherever you go.  
Saturday 10th June - Bio Blitz event - All day 09:00 to 14:00 - Broadwater Warren
Broadwater Warren 10 Year Anniversary Event
Price: Free, just drop by the car park and we will tell you where we are
Join us for a day exploring every nook and cranny of Broadwater. We will be looking to find as much wildlife as we can in one day, starting with moth trapping and moving on to birds, plants, insects, pond wildlife and more. Feel free to come for as long as you like. If you have any wildlife identification books, then bring them along as we will be recording everything we find.
Saturday 1st July - High Weald Walk - 11:00 to 13:00 - Broadwater Warren
Price: Free, but booking essential
One of a series of nature walks organised by Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery and led by expert Ian Beavis looking at the plant, animal and insect life of different High Weald habitats.
Suitable for aged 8 and over, children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Book by contacting Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery (01892 554 171).
Sunday 2nd July - Brakeybank Wildflower Meadow Day - 11:00 to 14:00 - Tudeley Woods
Price: Free, but booking essential
Come and explore the Brakeybank Wildflower Meadow. We will be hunting for wildlife, having a go at identifying meadow flora and, to get a taste of what it's like to volunteer with us, there will be a chance to get stuck into some practical meadow restoration work. Families welcome.  At this event we are celebrating Plantlife's National Meadows Day - for more information visit
Saturday 29th July - Family Wildlife Ramble- All day 10:30 to 13:30 - Broadwater Warren
Broadwater Warren 10 Year Anniversary Event
Price: £5 (£3 for members and children) booking essential
Join us for a stroll around Broadwater Warren to hunt for the wildlife that makes its home here.
Armed with nets, binoculars and collecting pots, we will be exploring the nature reserve and searching out insects, birds, reptiles and more. This is a good chance to get close up with creatures you may not have even known were here and learn more about how they survive out in the wild. A fascinating and enjoyable day for children and adults alike.
We will cover around 2 miles of the reserve along sometimes uneven ground, so please bring appropriate footwear.
Families welcome, but dogs should stay at home for this one