Kent is one the UK’s most wildlife-rich counties, a result of its varied geology, long coastline, landscape history southerly location and proximity to mainland Europe. Its important wildlife habitats include estuaries, chalk cliffs, woodlands, and chalk Downland, and encompass some of the South East’s most iconic landscapes, such as the shingle headland of Dungeness and the White Cliffs of Dover. Nonetheless, it is clearly the case that the last century has seen major losses in Kent’s wildlife. During this period, 30 species of wild plant, eight species of butterfly, one amphibian, one reptile, 10 bird species, and two species of bat all became extinct in the county. The future of our natural environment will depend on understanding how the full ranges of sectors manage land and how net gains for biodiversity can be arrived in these areas and not just on our protected sites/nature reserves.
The KNP is working to ensure that the network of Kent’s high value natural and semi-natural habitats, made up of locally and nationally recognised sites, is well managed and connectivity between these sites is delivered through a range of initiatives.