Southborough Town Council has received £93,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, Secrets of Southborough Common, to be delivered in partnership with The Southborough Society, Southborough and High Brooms Amateur Archaeological Society and Kent High Weald Partnership.
We have been working with the project partners to deliver a series of exciting events over the past three years which have engaged with the public allowing them to learn more about the heritage and history of Southborough Common.
- A series of nature walks, including bat and fungi walks, have been run for the public to inform them about the interesting flora and fauna that have made this Local Wildlife Site their home.
- The project has enabled local volunteers to engage in the management of the Common uncovering lots about its history and heritage. We have also set us a self contained group to help manage the common alongside the council team
- The volunteering efforts has allowed for more of the archaeology of the Common to be investigated, The events held in partnership with SHAAS were attended many, they allowed the whole family to participate in uncovering history using equipment purchased from the fund and with the skills and knowledge of the group.
- The funds have allowed for the Historical archive material held by the Southborough Society to be digitised and catalogued resulting in a publically accessible secure library. (still ongoing as they have a vast collection!)
- Paths through the Common have been upgraded and self-guided walks created, 3 different walks to be exact! all to guide you around this interesting and cherished woodland.
Enjoy a tour of the main circular walk below
Secrets of Southborough Common – Exhibition- Project end event
An exciting showcase of the work funded by the National Heritage Lottery and undertaken by Kent High Weald Partnership, Southborough and High Brooms Archaeological Society and the Southborough Society.
A blog from the event by the southborough society – https://southboroughsociety.org.uk
And The website, Southborough News also did a brilliant write up – https://southborough-news.com/…/secrets-of-southborough-co…/
The Kent High Weald Partnership has been working with volunteers to restore Southborough Common following the adoption of the 2012 management plan by Southborough Town Council. We are lucky to have a bunch of enthusiastic and mainly local volunteers who turn out in all weathers throughout the winter months. Our main activity has been to remove the non-native and invasive laurel which has established from garden escapees over many years and also to clear out dense holly, especially near the Modest Corner part of the Common. We have also thinned out birch and oak saplings to leave a more open woodland and to make it more accessible to people and wildlife.
A wonderful by-product of the clearance work has been to reveal the site of an old windmill, the possible site of the once famous horse trading ring and also exposing majestic veteran oak and beech trees.
The site is 33.5 hectares, a mixture of ancient woodland, woodland pasture, relic heathland and an old quarry site. The common has a network of footpaths running through it, often well used by dog walkers and increasingly by children for exploration and natural play.
Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund we were able to more work including partners on the site.
For the current management plan click below –