RSPB The Bleane Woods

 At the beginning of August we decided to level up our long walks and go on an almost 2k walk around RSPB The Bleane in Canterbury. This beautiful nature reserve was the perfect place to have a sunny afternoon stroll, it has a huge range of hiking trails from 0.7k dog walks all the way up to a 10k around the whole perimeter! The main reason we visited was to see the bison that had been re-introduced to the area to help clear out some of the overgrown shrub in the forest, no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t find them, they’re pretty big so we can’t have missed them! I think if we had tackled the 10k they were probably grazing in a secluded bit on the outskirts.

Apart from missing bison, the woods has so much wildlife! Before you enter the trails, there's a little notice board full of info about the place as well as the wildlife that’s currently been seen in the area, it was really nice to try and spot as many as we could, we saw the usual squirrels and birds but both myself and my boyfriend got to hear a woodpecker for the first time as well! Because the nature reserve is so large it’s very secluded, some parts of the trail were completely silent, which in the sunny afternoon was beautiful but we both said we wouldn’t like to be there alone at night! Throughout our entire 2 hour walk we only saw 4 people, so it was like having the place to ourselves, we didn’t feel rushed or pushed along by people behind us even towards the end when you catch up with more groups, it’s definitely a great place to bring the whole family. 

The best part about the woods is the different areas you walk through. Walking only 2k we came across dense forest, heathlands and open field! All of these different areas have beautiful views and different wildlife, when we came across the heathlands it was full of butterflies! And then walking back through the forests you could hear woodpeckers and see squirrels running up the path, it would be a great place to bring children to see how many different animals, birds and bugs they could see throughout these different areas. 

RSPB The Bleane is completely free to walk around but you can offer a donation for one of their maps. There aren’t any toilets, hand-washing or cafe facilities so bring your own lunch and water, there is a little picnic area right next to the car park though so you can still sit amongst the trees to have your lunch, the car park isn’t very big it only holds about 30 cars and seems to fill up quick but it is free, if that’s full then the long entrance road is fine to park on either side and that doesn’t seem to fill up as quick. 
If you live near here or fancy a day out I would highly recommend coming here, it’s so relaxing and quiet even with other people walking around, the varying trail lengths mean it’s good for all abilities and it’s just a nice easy place to get back to nature! 

H x