This 33.5 hectare site comprises of semi natural ancient woodland, wood pasture, relic heathland and an old quarry site. Southborough common is a beautiful site for walkers as well as being a great natural playground for children to explore. From bluebells in spring to a wide selection of fungi in autumn, the Common has a wide array of flora and fauna to discover. Take a walk amongst the veteran oak, beech and birch trees and listen out for woodpeckers and chiffchaffs or search the woodland clearings for speckled wood and painted lady butterflies.
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. 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 both people and wildlife. A wonderful by-product of the clearance work has been the uncovering of an old windmill site, the possible site of the once famous horse trading ring as well as exposing majestic veteran oak and beech trees.
At the beginning of 2017, Southborough Town Council 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. This allowed a number of community events to take place including:
- A series of nature walks, including bat and fungi walks.
- The project has enabled local volunteers to engage in the management of the Common uncovering lots about its history and heritage.
- The volunteering efforts has allowed for more of the archaeology of the Common to be investigated. The events were held in partnership with SHAAS.
- These funds allowed for the Historical archive material held by the Southborough Society to be digitised and catalogued resulting in a publicly accessible secure library.
- 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.
This lottery funding also allowed for the continuation of the practical management task days with our volunteers which continued following the completion of the project, thanks to funds from 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!
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…/