Show all Events >>

Wildlife Notes

Read Terry and Susan Dove's monthly wildlife notes from Little Barton Farm

Our Latest Publication

Transactions of the Kent Field Club - Volume 20

Transactions  of the Kent Field Club - Volume 20


A variety of topical research projects by KFC members.


DMap Training Workshop

PDF Print
Sunday, 26 November 2017 18:34

On the 26th November, Club members assembled at KWT Tyland Barn for a workshop on the use of DMap software for producing distribution maps, led by Ian Tittley. This easy-to-learn software can be used for people's own projects, for producing papers and reports for the Bulletin or Transactions and, it is hoped, for speeding the work of future Kent Atlas production.

IMG 4091

Text and photo supplied by Simon Springate. 


The Kent Wildlife Conference 2017

PDF Print
Thursday, 23 November 2017 22:31

 On the 28th October, 81 attendees were welcomed by the University of Kent at their Canterbury campus for the annual Kent Wildlife Conference, held jointly by Kent Field Club and the Kent and Medway Biological Records Centre ( The presentations ranged from the level of microbes up to entire landscapes, and from methods of recording biodiversity to habitat management by local communities.


Text and photo supplied by Simon Springate.



KFC visit to Longbeech Wood, near Charing

PDF Print
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 22:46

 A large group of Club members were led around this Woodland Trust site on the 24th September by Martin Allison. Formerly ancient woodland, much of this was lost to planting for chestnut coppice and mixed conifers so it is designated as a planted ancient woodland site. The site was alive with invertebrates where the sun broke through the canopy along rides or in the recently coppiced areas. The large black and orange ichneumon wasp Heteropelma megarthrum, associated with coniferous woodland, kept just out of reach for a while but was captured for photographs eventually.


Text supplied by Simon Springate. Photo courtesy of Sarah Arnold.



Fungal Foray at Seal Chart and Redhill Wood

PDF Print
Monday, 20 November 2017 20:40

Kent Field Club members met up with Andy Willmore of KWT at Seal on the 2nd September to provide records for the Sevenoaks Greensand Commons Project. The Seal Chart and Redhill Wood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest with open woodland and heath on the formerly grazed acidic parts and denser woodland on the heavier soils. Seventy-seven species of fungi were found on the day, including the first Kent record of Sacrodon joeides.

KFC smaller

Text and photo supplied by Simon Springate.



Higham Marshes Field Meeting

PDF Print
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 22:36

 On 29th July, Joyce Pitt led Club members around this area of scrub, rough grassland and wetland. On the insect side, Lepidoptera, Odonata, Syrphidae and Orthoptera were numerous but the Hymenoptera were most impressive; several Shrill Carder and Brown-banded Carder bumblebees, the hairy legged mining bee Dasypoda hirtipes and the Beewolf Philanthus triangulum were all spotted along with 12 other species.


Text and photo supplied by Simon Springate.



Field visit to Millennial Woods, Sheppey

PDF Print
Tuesday, 25 July 2017 20:34

A small team of Club members, led by John Badmin, assembled on Sheppey on the 22nd July to see what could be found at two community woodland sites. Thistle Hill woodland, planted in 1999 and covering 13 hectares, has different densities of young tree cover and areas of open grassland while Eastchurch woodland is smaller, consisting of an area of open grassland encircled by trees. Find of the day was the stripy caterpillar of Helcystogramma rufescens, a first record of the species for Sheppey.


Text by Simon Springate. Photo supplied by John Badmin.




Folkestone Warren field meeting

PDF Print
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 20:16

Six Kent Field Club members met on 1st July to record the wildlife of the undercliff at Folkestone Warren. Grazing has been restored to part of the Warren in recent years this area was investigated as well as the slumped cliffs along East Wear Bay. Plants of interest included blunt-flowered rush Juncus subnodulosus, thread-leaved water crowfoot Ranunculus tricophyllus and the stonewort Chara hispida in a wet flush; deadly nightshade Atropa belladonna and the moss Neckera crispa in chalk grassland, and wild madder Rubia peregrina, curved hard-grass Parapholis incurva, rock samphire Crithmum maritimum and golden samphire Inula crithmoides on the cliffs and sea wall. The highlight of the day however was a rose chafer Cetonia aurata seen in the afternoon.

Folkestone Warren KFC meeting

Text and photo courtesy of Alfie Gay.


KFC/KBRG joint meeting at Tutt Hill

PDF Print
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 20:21

Fourteen members of the Kent Field Club and Kent Botanical Recording Group met for a joint meeting at Tutt Hill on 16th July to record the arable flora on field margins close to the HS1 railway. The geology here is the Folkestone Formation (Lower Greendsand) and the flora reflected this sandy bedrock. The undoubted highlight was a small population of small-flowered catchfly Silene gallica whilst other plants of interest included wall bedstraw Galium parisiense, prickly sedge Carex muricata and corn spurry Spergula arvensis.

Tutt Hill KFC and KBRG meeting

Text and photo courtesy of Alfie Gay.


Field meeting at Jenkey Farm, Shadoxhurst

PDF Print
Monday, 17 July 2017 17:20

On 25th June, Club members were led around the meadows at Jenkey Farm by Camilla Blackburn of KWT. This 25ha property, adjacent to various local wildlife sites, has recently entered into a Higher Level Stewardship agreement, so some baseline records were welcome. The meadows were full of grasshoppers and butterflies (including a purple hairstreak) and yellow rattle was so abundant in places that it really rattled with every step.


                            IMG 3558b

Text and photo supplied by Simon Springate.



Key to Kent Sedges by Lliam Rooney

PDF Print
Tuesday, 11 July 2017 14:26

KFC members are invited to test a key to the Kent species of the genus Carex by KBRG and KFC member Lliam Rooney.

More info here: Kent Sedges key


Survey visit to Nemo Down

PDF Print
Sunday, 11 June 2017 13:43

Several Club members assisted Paul Tinsley-Marshall and Karen Weeks of Kent Wildlife Trust with baseline plant surveys of Nemo Down, Dover on 10th June. Though KWT have only been managing the site for two years, the removal of scrub and grazing with Konik ponies has already had an observable impact; on the half of the site surveyed, a high diversity of chalk downland indicator species were already present (in addition to a raven, buzzards and marsh tits).

                   Nemo 2017

Text and photo supplied by Simon Springate.


KFC visit to Hosey Common

PDF Print
Thursday, 01 June 2017 20:05

A small group of Club members met up with Andy Willmore of KWT at Hosey Common, Sevenoaks on the 21st May to provide records for the Seveonoaks Greensand Commons Project. The sun was bright but we didn't see much of it as most of this Site of Special Scientific Interest is ancient/secondary woodland. However, its historic management as wooded heath did show through in places, particularly under the power lines where heather (and insects) were abundant.


IMG 3411

Text and photo courtesy of Simon Springate


Kent Wildlife Conference: change of date

PDF Print
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 20:49

Please note that the date of the Kent Wildlife Conference 2017 has been changed from the 21st to the 28th October. This is a change from the published programme.


Return to Bingley Island

PDF Print
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 20:05

Several Field Club members turned up at Bingley Island, Canterbury to assist local experts and staff from the Natural History Museum with the next phase of plant and invertebrate surveys as part of the Westgate Parks project ( A number of new plant species were added to the list and several beetle specimens were collected for further identification. Westgate Parks Invertebrate Resource, based at Canterbury Christchurch University, are always looking for volunteers to help with mounting and labelling their beetle samples from previous surveys.

IMG 3341

Text and photo courtesy of Simon Springate.


Pocock at Maidstone Museum

PDF Print
Thursday, 11 May 2017 08:04

We recently reminded you of the Kent Field Club's display case at the Maidstone Museum.  This has now been updated by KFC members Judith Shorter, Malcom and Sally Jennings as part of the Pocock Herbarium Project

Judith has been busy trying to re-create Robert Pocock's herbarium she says - "When I became involved with Pocock I decided to try and replicate his herbarium.  I have managed to collect a number of specimens, a great many when I was out on KFC field trips and with a deal of help from some field club members."

Malcolm has spent many hours finding the text, photographs & prints to tell stories about Pocock’s plants. 

Sally and Malcom visited the South London Botanical Institute at Tulse Hill to collect a vasculum and plant press for the display and visited Maidstone Museum a number of times in order to prepare the display.  

Many thanks to Alex Gurr, the curator, who mounted the text and set up the display, and the SLBI who loaned the press & vasculum.


BSBI Field Identification Skills courses at Kent Wildlife Trust

PDF Print
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 19:37

Kent Wildlife Trust, in partnership with the Botanical Society for Britain and Ireland (BSBI), is hosting three Field Identification Skills Certificate (FISC) test days at Tyland Barn on the 1st June, 20th July and 7th September 2017.

These FISC one-day tests will enable attendees to be awarded a FISC certificate stating their botanical identification skill level.

For more information, please call KWT on 01622 662012 or visit the website:




Field visit to Rose Hill Woods

PDF Print
Monday, 01 May 2017 16:42

Eight members assembled on St George's day 2017 (23rd April) for a look around Rose Hill Woods, on the outskirts of Sittingbourne. This public site consists of playing fields, woodland, and also the ruins of Rose Hill House, an old Victorian house that once stood within the woods. The woodland has a nice patch of winter aconite Eranthis hyemalis and some sanicle Sanicula europaea, along with a large wych elm at the edge which impressed us with its vast crop of seeds.The edge of the cricket pitch proved to host an interesting mixed aggregation of mining bees, with at least 4 species observed.

 IMG 1410

Text and photo courtesy of Sarah Arnold


KFC Visit to Hungershall Rocks

PDF Print
Friday, 21 April 2017 08:30

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.

hungershall rocks sml

Text and photo courtesy of Stephen Lemon


Kent Field Club display case at Maidstone Museum

PDF Print
Friday, 20 January 2017 13:25

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.

maidmuscase sml

Watch this space for future news.


The Swale Shore of Elmley NNR

PDF Print
Monday, 19 September 2016 10:51

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.

IMG 2750

Text and photo courtesy of Simon Springate


Fort Horsted Field Visit

PDF Print
Monday, 19 September 2016 10:40

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

.IMG 2454

Text and photo courtesy of Simon Springate


Field visit to Barnett's Wood, Southborough

PDF Print
Monday, 22 August 2016 08:55


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.

IMG 2281 3

Text and photo courtesy of Simon Springate


Field visit to Conningbrook lakes, Ashford

PDF Print
Monday, 22 August 2016 08:49

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

PDF Print
Wednesday, 27 July 2016 10:31

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.

Ulmus minor

Photo and text courtesy of Simon Springate


A New Atlas of the Seaweeds of Kent by Ian Tittley

PDF Print
Friday, 29 April 2016 14:43

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!

PDF Print
Thursday, 07 January 2016 13:43

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

PDF Print
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 08:33

'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

PDF Print
Thursday, 08 May 2014 08:27

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

PDF Print
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 15:37

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

PDF Print
Monday, 04 February 2013 18:31


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!

PDF Print
Monday, 09 July 2012 08:37

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!

PDF Print
Monday, 27 December 2010 16:41

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.



Wind Powered Web Site! Hosting by   Website by Aye-aye Design  |  © Kent Field Club