Our Hucking Estate is now even bigger and better!
Thanks to the donations of our supporters, we’ve reached out £750,000 target to extend Hucking Estate! But there's still more of Kent's glorious natural landscape that needs your support.
Past, present and future of Hucking Estate
During the 20th century, new farming methods took their toll on the land near Hucking and large areas of ancient woodland, chalk grassland and hedgerows were damaged or destroyed.
In 1997, we bought what was then our largest woodland in England - the 573 acre Hucking Estate, near Maidstone. And since then we’ve worked hard to restore Hucking, planting 238,000 new native trees to buffer and protect the ancient woodland and managing the coppice woodland for the benefit of wildlife.
Today, Hucking is one of the Woodland Trust’s top 10 bluebell woods and has an incredible diversity of wildlife species. Ten birds listed on the Biodiversity Action Plan have been recorded here, including the bullfinch, hawfinch, lapwing, linnet, marsh tit and starling. 21 species of butterfly, including the marbled white, small heath and silver-washed fritillary, have all been spotted. Three species of bat, Daubenton’s, Natterer’s and brown longeared bats use the chalk pit shafts for winter hibernation too.
In 50 years, Hucking will be a truly resilient landscape against a backdrop of restored chalk grassland. Visitors will be able to enjoy its tranquil beauty, its diverse habitats and archaeological features and walk on through a shady, wooded landscape.
Thanks for your support
A big slice of land coming up for sale next door to Hucking Estate will almost certainly never happen again but it's thanks to your generous support that we've been successful in securing the extension to Hucking Estate.
The really hard work starts now as we'll begin to tear down more than a mile of restrictive barbed wire fencing, providing new access and allowing visitors to roam and explore. Threatened species such as the linnet and small heath butterfly will have a new habitat. The flowers on the bank of the rare chalk grassland will bloom and spread in an historic area of England which faces relentless threats from development.
We'll keep you up-to-date on developments but there's still more you can do to help secure Kent's glorious natural landscape.
Help create a truly resilient landscape across Kent
Whilst Hucking Estate is our largest site in Kent, it’s just one of 31 woods covering almost 3,000 acres we own and care for across the county.
These woods include Ashenbank Wood, near Cobham, which we maintain as traditional pasture woodland with cattle grazing in summer and autumn. Dering Wood, near Pluckley, is home to spectacular displays of spring bluebells. And Victory Wood, near Canterbury, which we have transformed from intensively managed arable land into a vibrant native woodland to commemorate the bi-centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
In 2017, we will spend more than £275,000 maintaining our woods in Kent so any donation you make is vital to help support our ongoing work in the county. Please help us to keep Kent a green and pleasant place to live and work.