I wrote this text two weeks 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 pooch is not longer among us. Pain is scrutinising, and emptiness and longing that probably everyone feel who lost a dog friend. Nevertheless, I decided to publish this article on the blog, because the place is cool, 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.
I wanted to tell you today about one such place Fant Wildlife Reserve in Maidstone on the River Medway. There used to be allotments here, unfortunately abandoned by their owners. Now the area belongs to the city 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 long time. Newts, frogs are there permanently. Apparently they live in the depths of eels. Unfortunately, I can not confirm it, because no one caught my eye.
Going further we come to a wide meadow where children and our dogs can go crazy. Several paths depart from the meadow. The entire reserve is not large, you can go it in less than half an hour, but if you feel like a longer trip, at the end, behind the gate, just turn left and we will be on the Medway River. And there is a paradise for walkers all over, but I’ll write about it some other time.
Returning to the Fant Wildlife Area you can always make a picnic on the grass or on one of the benches and listen to the birds singing. I haven’t heard a concert like that in a long time. And if you will be patient, you may see kestrels living there and in the evening flying bats.
The Trust organises the occasional meetings at which the guests find and observe the animals living in Fant, the price of such an event is one pound, but for children it is great fun.
In October, the group shares preserves 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 a lot of good work. 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 dog loved to wander there and crazy roll in the grass. Maybe your dogs will like it there as much as my Puffy.