KFC Vistit to Hungershall Rocks

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Kent Field Club’s meeting at Hungershall Rocks on 11th March 2017 came 54 years after their previous visit to the site. 

In company with the British Bryological Society they re-found the moss Tetrodontium brownianum on the same cave roof where they discovered it in 1963.  The liverwort Scapania gracilis was also re-found on a boulder, which remains its only site in Kent.  A great new discovery was the liverwort Marsupella emarginata var. emarginata.  Large patches of this species were found on a rock face, the first record from Tunbridge Wells since 1840.

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Kent Field Club display case at Maidstone Museum

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Years ago, the Club paid for a case to be installed at Maidstone Museum but subsequently forgot about it!

We now plan to put on small exhibitions in the case, which is located in the first floor natural history section, changing the contents a few times a year.

The first display is by Ian Tittley on seaweeds, the kent seaweed flora (and new atlas!) and their many uses.

This will run till the end of March 2017.

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Watch this space for future news.


The Swale Shore of Elmley NNR

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On the 27th August, several Club members met in glorious sunshine (and a bit of wind) just across the Kingsferry Bridge to explore the north coastline of the Swale on Sheppey. Marine expert Ian Tittley introduced us to the vascular plants, seaweeds, animals (and animals that look like seaweeds: Hornwrack!) to be found on the shore and coastal defences bordering Elmley Marshes.

The wind kept many insects out of reach but Great Green Bush Crickets and the rare Ruderal Bumblebee put in notable appearances.

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Text and photo courtesy of Simon Springate


Fort Horsted Field Visit

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On the 14th August, fifteen Field Club members were fortunate enough to both have access to Fort Horsted, Medway and excellent weather. This structure, built in the 1880s, was owned by the MoD until the 1960s, then was neglected, being used for landfill at one point. It is now owned and managed by Avondale Environmental Services. The soil excavated from the main defensive ditch was deposited on banks above, which have developed into a chalk grassland over the last century. A wide variety of pollinators were present including butterflies, hoverflies and bees. Particularly interesting were the Large Scabious Mining Bee, Andrena hattorfiana, and Melitta tricincta, a specialist bee on Red Bartsia

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Text and photo courtesy of Simon Springate


Kent Wildlife Conference 2016

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Saturday 15 October 2016

Grimond Lecture Theatre 1

University of Kent, Canterbury Campus

The Kent Wildlife Conference, now in its sixteenth year, was created as a way for field naturalists in the county to meet, learn about and discuss the county's wild plant and animal species.

You are welcome to bring displays or other information about work relevant to Kent natural history, and we especially welcome posters detailing recent research work.

The Conference will be held in the Grimond Lecture Theatre 1 at the University of Kent's Canterbury Campus, Canterbury, CT2 7NZ. Free, ample parking is available all day in the main visitor car park on site and there is a frequent bus service to the university from both Canterbury East and Canterbury West railway stations.

Booking information and the programme are available here


Field visit to Barnett's Wood, Southborough

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Field club members were led around Barnett's Wood, Southborough by Ian Beavis@TWBC_Museum Curator at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery and expert entomologist. This 12 hectare reserve includes broad-leafed woodland, meadows and ponds and is managed by theKent High Weald Partnership ( Here there is a bridge dedicated to the late Mary Page, local botanist and a long standing member of the Kent Field Club who led many field meetings in the Tunbridge Wells area.

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Text and photo courtesy of Simon Springate


Field visit to Conningbrook lakes, Ashford

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Recently Club members visited Conningbrook lakes on the edge of Ashford. This area of former quarries and adjacent arable fields are now a 34 hectare country park and series of lakes designated for recreation, sports, fishing and conservation with attached land earmarked for housing. An interesting mix of grassland and wetland species was seen, with dragonflies, demoiselles and damselflies in abundance.


 Text and photo courtesy of Simon Springate


Field visit to Fort Burgoyne ear Dover

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On 16th July, Field Club members were fortunate enough to access Fort Burgoyne, near Dover Castle, on one of its few open days.

This Palmerston fort, built in the 1860s to defend the south coast, is being restored by the Land Trust (

Here we had a rare opportunity to spend time with mature smooth-leaved elm (Ulmus minor) trees, including an impressive specimen at least as old as the fort and most probably older.

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Photo and text courtesy of Simon Springate


A New Atlas of the Seaweeds of Kent by Ian Tittley

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Available now in the Kent Field Club shop

Ian Tittley presents accounts and distribution maps for nearly 300 species of seaweeds from Kent's coastal waters and places the flora in its regional context.


Call for 2015 records!

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Dear members

Now that the 2015 field season has closed many of the county recorders will be gathering records for annual reports on their groups of interest for the next KFC Bulletin.  So this is a gentle reminder for those who have not yet submitted your records to dig out last years notebook and send your records in. 

If you are unsure of who to send the records to, please pass them on to the Kent & Medway Biological Records Centre who will be able to collate and pass the records on. E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Happy New Year


The Natural History of Sheppey; Volume 18 of the Kent Field Club Transactions has now been published

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'The Natural History of Sheppey', Volume 18 of the Kent Field Club Transactions (272pp) has now been published.

Price £12.00,  p&p £2.00.

Send cheque payable to 'Kent Field Club' to Ms K. Friend, 2 West End Cottages, The Street, Doddington, Kent ME9 0BZ.

volume 18


Beewalk volunteers needed in Sittingbourne

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The Bumblebee Conservation Trust are looking for volunteers to help out with monthly Beewalks at Milton Creek Country Park, Sittingbourne. This site has already produced records of Bombus humilis and Bombus muscorum, two of Kent's rarer bumblebees. If interested, please contact Richard Comont at BBCT This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Shieldbug & Allies Recording Project Started

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The Kent Field Club is pleased to announce that member Jonathan Barnard has decided to undertake a six year project to record and map the Shieldbugs (and allies) of Kent.  You can find more information on this project and how to get involved here


Obituary - Eric Philp

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1930 – 2013

Eric Philp

Eric Philp, Keeper of Natural History at Maidstone Museum, 1958-1993, former President and Honorary member of the Kent Field Club died on 8th January 2013 aged 82. He will be greatly missed by all. He was a major driving force behind founding the Kent Field Club (the Natural History Society of Kent) in 1955, in conjunction with Tony Tynan, former Keeper of Natural History at the Museum and Mr George Morgan.

Eric took on many executive roles in the Field Club as it flourished during its early years and membership expanded. He was Joint Secretary with George Morgan from 1957-1959, and with John Felton from 1960-1964. He took on the Editorship of the Bulletin from 1961- 1964, and was Assistant Editor of the KFC Transactions from 1967 to 1971 covering Vol. 3, Part 2 to Vol. 3, Part 4. A new post, Honorary Director of Field Studies was soon created with the aim of overseeing the Field Club's ever expanding programme of field surveys and field meetings. When our first director, Francis Rose, moved to Hampshire in 1970, Eric took over this position, a role he held until 1986. This fitted in nicely with his position as Keeper of Natural History at the Museum and allowed him to direct plant recording for the Field Club's Atlas of the Kent Flora published to great acclaim in 1982. Eric was elected President of the Kent Field Club in 1990.

Eric set up the Kent Biological Archives at Maidstone Museum, the first centralised database for storing the county's wildlife records in 1971. This was a hard copy system, comprising sets of individual species cards arranged by taxa group and a folder for each tetrad, where details of all the known records of plant and animal species from sites within the tetrad were stored, together with relevant correspondence. The known distribution of each species in the county was summarised in tetrad map form (for the first time) on the front of each species card, with a brief listing of locality, date and recorder's name for all the individual records below. This was a massive undertaking in the days before computerised databases. Eric was pleased to note that when the Nature Conservancy Council began transferring county data onto its national database in the 1980s, the usual 1-2 day visit to a county records centre extended to a month in the case of Kent. His pioneering work and the efforts of the county's recorders were well justified.

Eric's encyclopaedic knowledge about the status and distribution of the county's flora and fauna was second to none, and meant that he was continually in demand as a public speaker. For many decades he spoke enthusiastically and authoritatively at Kent Field Club events and to audiences across the county about Kent's wildlife and its conservation. His publications include the Atlas of the Kent Flora (1982), The Butterflies of Kent (1993), the Provisional Atlas of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Kent (1998), the Provisional Kent Mammal Atlas (2002) and A New Atlas of the Kent Flora (2010).

At various times during his career Eric was county recorder for vascular plants (BSBI recorder for VCs 15 and 16), plant galls, Orthoptera, Heteroptera, Coleoptera, Siphonaptera, Arachnida, Myriapoda, Mollusca and Vertebrata excluding birds, and well-versed in the taxonomy and recording of other groups.

Eric was also heavily involved in setting up the Kent Trust for Nature Conservation (now Kent Wildlife Trust), hosting meetings of interested parties at the Museum and for a time was Chairman of the Trust's Conservation Committee.

For many of us, Eric has always been with us, he was the 'Kent Field Club', and we shall greatly miss his presence in the field and at indoor meetings. He was an extraordinary field recorder, often finding rare or overlooked species right under our noses when on a field meeting, entertaining us with details of the species history, and enthusing us to look the species for ourselves. He was a pioneering conservationist, an inspirational teacher and fantastic flag-waver for the Kent Field Club. Our condolences go to his wife Dorothy and son Stephen and family.

John Badmin


The New Atlas of the Kent Flora has SOLD OUT!

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Our first print run of the New Atlas of the Kent Flora has now sold out.  It is likely that we will print another batch, so register your interest with us and we will add you to the list.


NEW: Purchase our Publications and Join Online!

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You can now become a Kent Field Club member instantly and securly online using your debit or credit card. Just go to our Membership page to find out more and to join now!

Kent Field Club publish a series of atlases of the distribution of particular groups of plants and animals in Kent, which are also now available to purchase on our website in our online Publications shop.

We also have a number of free publications available to download.



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