Bough Beech Reserve
Bough Beech Reserve is at the north end of Bough Beech Reservoir, two miles south of Ide Hill, Sevenoaks. It has SNCI status.
The Oast House Visitor Centre is open from 11am to 4.30pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays; April-end October. There is an Information Centre, a small shop and light refreshments. Access to the main part of the reserve is by permit and for recording and study only.
The reserve covers approximately 32 hectares. The reserve is well known as a significant staging post during the spring and autumn migrations with regular appearances from ospreys and many other long distance migrants. Most of the reserve is open water, vital for many species of wildfowl. Areas of mud, gravel and concrete are uncovered around the edges of the reservoir during summer and autumn, which supply feeding and nesting areas for waders such as lapwing and little ringed plover.
Approximately 150 bird species are frequently recorded, 60 of which breed annually; great-crested grebe and Mandarin duck are prominent among the waterfowl. In winter, wildfowl numbers are much higher than in summer. While mallard, teal, shoveler, tufted duck and Canada goose are most plentiful, many other species occur on a regular basis, including goldeneye and goosander. Grebes, other water birds and waders are also numerous at times. In the autumn, especially, waders such as green sandpiper, redshank and greenshank can be seen, and many rarities have been recorded, including spotted sandpiper, long-tailed duck and, for the first time in Kent, little crake. Ospreys are habitual visitors during the autumn and spring.
Good views over the reservoir and North Lake are possible from the causeway, and near the oast house, there are views over neighbouring fields. It’s worth looking over the gate into the orchard part way down the drive to the oast, to see birds coming to feed. There are also two ‘park benches’ near the oast.
Bus 231 and 233 Tunbridge Wells and Edenbridge to Bough Beech village, (13/4 miles). Nearest train station is Penshurst (2 miles).
Roadside parking on the causeway crossing the northern end of the reservoir includes a segment where the hedge is cut short so that it is possible to view the water from inside a car. The car park by the oast house visitor centre at present has patches of shingle for drainage which are not ideal for wheelchairs.
Disclaimer: The information on this leisure activity was presented with the best of intentions. Any reported errors will be corrected immediately. People interested in contacting the above leisure activity should confirm for themselves the accuracy of any data presented.
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015