Places to see birds

Foal Hurst Wood

Foal Hurst Wood

Foal Hurst Wood is a small area of ancient woodland and meadow managed by Paddock Wood town council, on the outskirts of the town, which is near Tonbridge. The wood comprises 29 acres of woodland, with 11 acres of meadowland around its northern border. Since 1999 it has been designated a nature reserve, thanks to the restoration and expertise provided by the Kent High Weald Project and British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, with the Forestry Commission providing much of the funding.

Within the wood there is a network of footpaths that take the walker deep into the heart of the reserve, and a trail around its outskirts. Birds that thrive in the wood include green and great spotted woodpeckers. Other species include blackcap, chiffchaff and sparrowhawk, as well as a host of other woodland birds. Altogether over forty species have so far been identified.

In the spring there are primroses, orchids and carpets of bluebells, in summer dog rose and honeysuckle. Autumn provides a colourful array of fungi while winter shows the stark and natural beauty of the woodland.

The entrance to the reserve is approximately 300 metres from the junction of Maidstone and Badsell Road on the left hand side, adjacent to the Badsell allotments. You can walk to the reserve from Paddock Wood town centre in about 15 minutes or take any bus going to Five Oak Green and ask the driver to set you down by the entrance, where there is a special bus stop. Paddock Wood railway station is on the main railway line between London and Ashford, Kent.

Grid Reference:, TQ 660 441