Broadham Down

Broadham Down is a mixture of old chalk grassland, scrub and new woodland, with surrounding ancient woodland and grassland.  Prior to the 1960s Broadham Down would have been a small part of a thriving landscape of chalk grassland, full of wild flowers insects and bird life. During intensification of agriculture in the second part of the last century, nearly all of this area was ploughed and farmed, with much of the wildlife being lost.  The farming ventures were abandoned in the mid-1980s leading to scrub and secondary woodland establishment with further loss of grassland habitats and the wildlife that lived there.  Kent Wildlife Trust established the site as a nature reserve in 1996.

Attempts to establish effective conservation grazing have been hampered by poor quality fencing, the lack of stock handling infrastructure, the absence of fixed water supply across the site and scrub and secondary woodland encroachment.  The funding from Viridor Credits has allowed the Trust to establish quality fencing across the whole site, install a water supply and build handling facilities.

All of these additions will allow the Trust to finely tune the grazing, controlling scrub, encouraging development of species-rich grassland and seeing the recovery of important wildlife like Man Orchid and Black Veined Moth. Clearing large amounts of scrub and secondary woodland has created new areas of chalk grassland, and created sunlit corridors between Broadham and other conservation sites in the area.