North Kent Marshes
The North Kent Marshes, located in the north of the county of Kent on the Thames Estuary in south-east England, is one of 22 Environmentally Sensitive Areas recognised by the UK government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It lies within the Thames Gateway regional planning area.
The north of Kent has historically been marshland and the part which still survives, stretching from Dartford in the west, to Whitstable in the east, has been recognised as one of the most important natural wetlands in northern Europe. Monitored by local land owners and wildlife custodians, the RSPB claim up to 300,000 migrant birds use the mudflats of the Thames marshes as a regular haven in their migratory journeys between the Arctic and Africa.
The RSPB have over recent years acquired considerable stretches of Cliffe marshes on the Hoo peninsula. They maintain reserves at Cliffe pools, Northward hill, High Halstow and Elmley Marshes, Sheppey. The Medway Council's Riverside park at Gillingham is another example of managed open public access to the marshes.
The North Kent Marsh with its stable water level is an important habitat for the water vole. There are thirteen key sites throughout Britain. Shorne and Higham marshes, with parts of Cliffe and Cooling marsh, Allhallows and Grain marshes and the Isle of Sheppey are among them.
The marshes are protected by the Kent and Medway Structure Plan, and a strong local environmental pressure group. The marshes also offer invaluable natural flood protection for London.
In popular culture
The Channel Four series Southcliffe (2013) takes place in a fictional market town located in the North Kent Marshes. In reality most of the series was filmed in the market town of Faversham and surrounding rural area.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to North Kent Marshes.|
- South Swale - a nature reserve covering the marshes between Faversham and Whitstable
- TGKP Working Document No. 2 26 Nov 2002
- North Kent Marshes Nature Reserves- What's on January- June 2007