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Have you heard about Bromley’s ‘lost’ nature reserve?

PUBLISHED: 10:33 03 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:47 06 February 2017

Ruxley Gravel Pits

Ruxley Gravel Pits

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Hidden behind the A20 lies one of the borough’s best-kept secrets

Ruxley Gravel Pits Ruxley Gravel Pits

Hidden away behind the noise of the A20 is one of Bromley’s best-kept secrets - an oasis of wildlife in an urban environment.

Ruxley Gravel Pits nature reserve is home to more than 500 species of plant, as well as wetland birds, living among the lakes and islands of the River Cray.

Bitterns, kingfishers and reed warblers are among the species that make their home in the 11-hectare site, which is managed by Kent Wildlife Trust.

Keen-eyed visitors could even spot the endangered water vole - a mammal that has disappeared from many parts of the UK due to habitat loss and the arrival of predators such as mink.

Ruxley Gravel Pits Ruxley Gravel Pits

The gravel pits were in use between 1929 and 1951, and once extraction ceased wildlife began to move back in to the wetland environment.

Ray Lewis, of the Kent Wildlife Trust, said: “It is a very important oasis in an urban area. We do a lot of management work to improve biodiversity.”

Public access is restricted, but Kent Wildlife Trust is able to arrange guided tours and group visits for a limited number of people from schools, colleges and societies.

A talk on the nature reserve will be given by Martin Watts at Friends of the Earth Bromley’s February meeting.

The discussion will take place at the Friends Meeting House on Ravensbourne Road at 7.30pm on Tuesday, February 7.

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