Places to see birds

BroadWater Warren (COVID-19: please check the reserve website for restrictions before visiting).

BroadWater Warren (COVID-19: please check the reserve website for restrictions before visiting).

Broadwater Warren is a new reserve just south of Tunbridge Wells, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From mainly conifer plantation it is being restored to a wildlife-rich mixture of heath and mature native woodland, including clumps of pines and wet areas. There are good tracks, nature trails and a history trail. There is a good sized car park, but no visitor centre or toilets as this is a 'quiet enjoyment' site.

Bird species include a variety of warblers, nightjar, woodcock, yellowhammer, marsh tit, redwing, crossbill, lesser redpoll and siskin.

The RSPB acquired Broadwater Warren in January 2007. The reserve covers 180 hectares (445 acres) and is a remnant of the ancient Waterdown Forest, one of the four medieval hunting Forests of the High Weald Forest Ridge. In the 1990s it was earmarked as a landfill site, but this was defeated by local people. Our plan is to restore the reserve to its original heathland and ancient woodland mosaic. It also has rare valley mire. This is a key project for the Weald Forest Ridge Partnership, to resurrect the once well-known Forest Ridge name and celebrate the area's local distinctiveness. Without the RSPB's intervention, it is extremely likely that Broadwater Warren would have been sold in small plots and public access lost.

Lowland heathland is one of the world's rarest habitats—the UK holds 20% of the global total, but an estimated 85% of UK heathland has been destroyed in the last 200 years. As a consequence, heathland restoration is one of the top national conservation priorities. The work will involve clearing some (but not all) of the conifer plantations which were planted as a timber crop.

For more information please see the link