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WALKS 1ST HALF YEAR 2014137 - Copy

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Statement from NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group

The Care Quality Commission today issued the report of an unannounced inspection into maternity services at Medway Maritime Hospital. While noting examples of good practice and that the staff were dedicated and caring, the inspection found that actions were needed to improve care in all six of the areas inspected. The CQC has issued three warning notices under section 29 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

The inspection comes at a time when Medway NHS Foundation Trust continues to be in ‘special measures’ as a result of the findings of the review led by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s team, a review that was triggered by poor mortality rates. NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group welcome the arrival of the trust’s new Medical Director and new Chief Nurse.

Medway NHS Foundation Trust is regulated by the Care Quality Commission and by Monitor, the two national regulators of foundation trusts. They are the organisations that can impose warnings or undertakings on the trust, as the CQC has done here, to require change.

The CCGs’ role is to commission healthcare that is safe and meets the needs of our population, and to work with providers of healthcare to assure the public on the quality of services. In our response to the Keogh review, we made it clear that it is the responsibility of the trust’s board to ensure that services are safe, that the necessary monitoring is in place to provide that assurance and that any necessary rectification plans are implemented.

We will continue to work with Medway NHS Foundation Trust to improve the quality of care patients receive. NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group plans and buys healthcare for the people of Medway.

kwthighcowWith the increasing amount and variety of livestock that the Trust owns or loans conservation grazing is becoming an increasingly important management tool. Thanks to recent project funding, many of the chalk downland reserves in the Darenth Valley are being grazed by sheep and cattle this winter, and this year for the first time we will be using goats to control invasive buddleia and silver birch at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve. Read More

golden ploverLate summer and early autumn at Oare Marshes have seen huge numbers of wading birds passing through on their annual migration to over-wintering locations.

During August and September counts in excess of 2,000 black-tailed godwit, 750 redshank, 150 dunlin,100 ringed plover, 200 golden plover and 50 curlew sandpipers have been recorded – the highest count of the latter for many years. Read More

listening to treesIf you’ve ever felt like branching out and having a new experience Medway Council could have the answer for you later this month.

A new art installation will give people the chance to listen to the inner workings of trees.

To get to the root of it – how does it work?

Artist Alex Metcalf uses special high performance microphones to record the sounds from inside the tree as water is pulled up from the roots to the leaves. Read More

Oct Poster

Festival of Wildlife 2013 – Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th August, 10am – 4pm

This free family event, now in its 6th year, is the only annual event in Kent to celebrate the wonderful world of wildlife. Organised by Kent Wildlife Trust and centred in and around a splendid woodland and lakeside setting – the packed programme features bug hunting, guided walks and angling demonstrations. The ‘Best of Kent’ stalls will offer all manner of arts and crafts and tasty locally-sourced food products. More

Harpella forficella by Ross Newham

Harpella forficella by Ross Newham

A species of moth not previously seen in Kent and known only by its Latin name Harpella forficella has been discovered at Kent Wildlife Trust’s Holborough Marshes nature reserve, near Snodland. This striking cream and brown moth, native to Europe, was found by amateur naturalist and Trust volunteer, Ross Newham. Ross undertakes moth recording at a number of Trust reserves across West Kent, with all records helping to build up a detailed inventory of the species in the area. Using this information, conservation bodies can then study the biological records available to plan the management of sites. More

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DBL100mileDoctors and paramedics at Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance are appealing for cyclists to join them in the life-saving charity’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge next month.

The 100-mile or 100km bike ride will start and finish at the Surrey and Sussex helicopter base at Redhill Aerodrome on June 23rd.

Both routes take in all counties covered by the two helicopters and the 100-mile route will pass through Marden – the home of Kent Air Ambulance.

Among the riders will be Team KSSAAT (Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust) including crew members and a former patient.

Critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley said: “This is an exciting year to be involved with the Air Ambulance with the launch of our blood transfusion service in February and night flying later this year.

“However, to enable us to provide a 24-hour service we need an extra £1million which is why fundraising events such as the Double 100 are even more vital.

Last year’s Double 100 was held at the former Air Ambulance base at Dunsfold but the routes have been changed following the relocation of one of the charity’s helicopters to Redhill in preparation for the launch of night flying.

This year’s event has kindly been sponsored by Howard Cundey Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, Asda, Warburtons and Wellbeing People. More

03 De Bello CanzioJoin Kent Wildlife Trust on Bank Holiday Monday 27th May for BIGBURY REVEALED!
(Bigbury Nature Reserve, Harbledown. 10am – 4pm) – FREE entry.

Step back in time and experience Bigbury Camp as it was in 54BC. Meet up with the local Cantii tribe as they face the Roman invasion. Discover the hidden side of the recently restored Iron Age Hill Fort – a Scheduled Ancient Monument, thought to be the site of Caesar’s first battle. More

Kent Wildlife Trust is hosting an exciting series of family ‘Discovery Day’ events this May half-term at its Tyland Barn Visitor Centre, Sandling near Maidstone.

The Trust’s Community Education Officer, Mary Blackwell, said: “On Friday 31st May
from 10am – 12 noon and 1.30 – 3.30pm, our brand new Theatre of the Pond event will see trained actress and artist, Victoria Wainwright, helping intrepid budding performers to explore the wildlife in a pond before unleashing their creativity and creating a pond-life play! More

Swan by Jason SteelKent Wildlife Trust has launched its 6th annual Wildlife Photography Competition to encourage local residents to venture out this spring and summer to capture images of the natural assets of the ‘Garden of England’.

The four broad categories cover Fauna (mammals, insects, birds etc.), Flora (plants, trees, lichens, fungi etc.), Landscape, Coastline & People and Junior (aged 17 and under). Photographs can be taken at nature reserves, parks, schools, gardens, seaside etc., but must be in Kent. More

BioBlitz at Darland Banks nature reserve tonight, Gillingham ME7 3ER, 5pm – 9pm. Join scientists, naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts to help us count as many species as possible in four hours.

You don’t need to be an expert to help, you could also have a go with a bat detector, find our about the reserve and meet our cattle and horses and find out what they do for wildlife.

Parking is at the end of Darland Avenue, follow signes from there to the recording hub to get involved. Please telephone Lee or Alison on 01622 662012 with any queries.

Kent Wildlife Trust have a fantastic event for the week begining of the 27th May at Blean between Canterbury and Whitstable. Click on the link below to visit their page with all of the information you need. Fun and learning activities for all the family.

http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats/blean-woodland-festival
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IMG_7834Members of the Morgan Sports Car Club – South East Centre, also known as HopMog, visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham on Wednesday 1st May on one of their weekly outings to attractions and places of interest in the South East. Their twenty six classic Morgan cars were displayed on Museum Square in the centre of the maritime heritage site and also added an extra attraction for visitors to enjoy.

Alan Patterson, Group Organiser for the Morgan Sports Car Club (MSCC) said; “A huge thank you for making our visit to the Dockyard both memorable and enjoyable. The morning tour guides, Rose and Barry, were very knowledgeable and informative, and really gave us an insight as to how the dockyard worked. Steve (sorry, MR Steve!) was very entertaining throughout the Ropery tour with his grumpy foreman character and had us all in stitches. I know several of our members have upgraded to the annual ticket with the intention of returning later in the year. Please pass on our thanks to everyone involved in making it a day to remember.”

The Historic Dockyard Chatham makes a wonderful destination for car clubs to visit. Members can enjoy three historic warships, a working Ropery and four other museum galleries and attractions for the specially discounted car club admission rate. The club is given priority parking on site allowing easy access to cars during the day and also allows members’ cars to be viewed and admired by other visitors to The Historic Dockyard. Car Club bookings can be made with the Group Sales Officer on 01634 823815 or groupsales@chdt.org.uk

Other clubs booked for this year include The Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club 25 Register – Monday 13 May; BMW Motorcycle Club on Sunday 9 June; 1066 Chapter Harley Owners Group on Saturday 15 June; Alfa Romeo Owners Club on Sunday 11 August and the Porsche Club GB – Kent Region on Sunday 18 August.

All images copyright of and supplied by courtesy of Mr Patrick Boniface.

Exploring Antarctica: The Final Expeditions of Scott and Shackleton

Credit: Royal Geographical Society

Credit: Royal Geographical Society

An exhibition of the ultimate expeditions of both Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton – charted through the words, photographs and artefacts of those who survived and those who perished in this most hostile of environments – is being shown at The Historic Dockyard Chatham in No. 1 Smithery: The Gallery from 24 May until 30 August. This exhibition is in association with The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) with artefacts from the Scott Polar Research Institute, Royal Museums Greenwich and Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive. More

Adder (c) Jason Steel

Adder (c) Jason Steel

Kent Wildlife Trust welcomes the recognition of Lodge Hill – earmarked as a 5,000 home development site – as a nationally important site for wildlife by Natural England, the Government’s advisor on the natural environment.

On 13th March Natural England, the Government’s advisor on the natural environment, notified Chattenden Woods and Lodge Hill on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

SSSIs comprise some of the country’s best wildlife sites, including our most spectacular, important and beautiful habitats, and Natural England has a duty to designate such areas under national legislation that protects them for future generations.

Chattenden Woods, a large area of ancient woodland and grassland, was originally designated as a SSSI in 1984 under the Wildlife & Countryside Act. More recently, investigations into the adjacent Lodge Hill site as part of proposals for a significant housing development, have highlighted that this area is also very important for the same reasons.

The site supports communities of bats (six species), lizards, grass snakes, adders, slow worms, newts, frogs, toads, badgers and rare insects such as the shrill carder-bee.

It has a significant breeding bird population, most notably nightingales, which were found to be widespread across the proposed development site, and the new SSSI supports at least 1.3% of the national population of this declining species. The new SSSI encompasses the old SSSI and the important areas of Lodge Hill. More

This is a fairly short video showing the importance of the type of countryside we have here in Kent. And in Kent we are lucky enough to have a larger range of environment types than most other counties in the UK, from chalky grassland to marshland and mud flat, from light sandy soils to heavy clay, we have something of everything.

Please watch this video, some of the flowers would leave you believing that you were in the tropics

Kind-hearted Ray Ballard from the Isle of Sheppey has raised £1,500 to thank the specialist health team who cared for his father who suffered from heart failure.
Ray’s father, Peter Ballard was looked after by the community cardiology team at Medway Community Healthcare until he passed away in 2010. More

Take time out from the hustle and bustle of a packed high street, and indulge in a day of traditional festivities in sumptuously historic surroundings set in stunning winter landscapes. This Christmas, National Trust properties in Kent throw open their gates to reveal festively decorated interiors, craft workshops, warming winter meals, and inspiring winter walks. You may even find yourself stepping back into another century. More

Visitors to the National Trust’s Chartwell will be offered a very special ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse on the 3rd and 4th November as the house team start to put the house to bed for the Winter. More

Children from classes 5 and 6 at Crockham Hill Primary School came 2nd in the country in the National Trust’s annual ‘Crumble Rumble’. Aided and abetted by staff at Chartwell they managed to pick and peel apples, mix up a topping and rustle up a delicious spiced apple crumble from scratch in 38 minutes flat! More

The County’s biggest wildlife event, the Festival of Wildlife, organised by Kent Wildlife Trust, returns to the beautiful lakeside and woodland setting of Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve and visitor centre on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August – open from 10am-4pm. More

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