I wrote this text many months ago when I thought I would start a new series of entries titled: Places that my dog loves. Unfortunately, the situation has changed, and my Puffy is not longer with us. Nevertheless, I decided to publish this article because the place is cool and worth visiting.
Someone once left me a comment under one of my texts that in England a green piece of overgrown land is enough to call it a reserve. I will honestly tell you that I would like it to be true, that every wood, green plot, meadow, etc. would have the status of a reserve and both plants and animals could live in peace, not disturbed by human activity.
Fant Wildlife Reserve in Maidstone on the River Medway is such a place. There used to be allotments there, unfortunately abandoned by their owners. Now the area belongs to the council of Maidstone and has been looked after by a special Trust, a group of volunteers from nearby residents since 1996. The group is doing everything in their power to prevent the reserve from falling into the hands of potential developers. They also take care of paths here, plant trees, cut down sick plants, establish birdhouses and do many other things for the good of the local flora and fauna.
If you like half-wild parks, I invite you to relax in the Fant Wildlife Area. You can park your car on Roseholm Street near the park entrance. At the gate, on the left, we pass a small playground for children to play basketball.
Right behind the gate is a small pond in which carp once used to swim, but I have not seen one for a very long time. Newts, frogs are there permanently. Apparently in the depths live eels. I can not confirm it, because no one ever caught my eye.
Going further we come to a wide meadow where children and dogs can go crazy on the grass. From there we can walk on few different paths with one leading us straight to the river.
The most beautiful thing in Fant Wildlife Area is birds singing. I haven’t heard a concert like that in a long time. And if you will be patient, you may see kestrels flying above it or bats in the evening hours.
The Trust organises the occasional events when participants can find and observe the animals living in Fant.
In October, the group shares their ideas for product that they created from plants collected in the reserve. Apparently there is a competition for the tastiest product. On their website you can find recipes for e.g. blackberry ice cream, elderberry and apple cake, jelly from the fruit of some edible hedge, blackberry brownie and a few others. See for yourself. Or maybe you are willing to join a group of volunteers, I admit that they are doing an absolutely brilliant job. Here is the link to their site: http://www.fantwildlife.org.uk/
I hope I encouraged you to visit the Fant Wildlife area, just please behave well there. I am extremely sorry when I see garbage in the park, especially beer cans. We don’t want to discover such treasures there
My Puffy loved to wander there and roll like crazy in the grass. Now I have a new pup called Joey and it looks like he enjoys the park as much.