Set in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Beauty near to Royal Tunbridge Wells, big changes have been happening at Broadwater Warren. When the RSPB took over the reserve in 2007, it was a large conifer plantation with just a few remnants of heathland surviving. The vast majority of major restoration works have already taken place as part of our ten year project to restore the historic open landscape of the Weald and improve the surrounding woodland for wildlife. We have already recreated 65 hectares of open heathland by removing conifer plantations, with another 12 hectares to be restored over the next two years. Thinning out some of the conifers that were planted in areas of semi-natural ancient woodland has allowed native trees to flourish. By allowing light into our woods, native plants, shrubs and wildlife can thrive again.The heathland and woodland restoration will return the Broadwater to its historic habitat of centuries ago, a wildlife-rich mosaic of heathland and native woodland with scrubby woodland margins, scattered stands of pines and rare woodland mire. Lowland heath is now a rarer habitat than rainforest after almost 80 per cent of the UK’s heathland has disappeared since the 1800s due to forestry, agriculture and urban development. Our work here is a vital link in the south east, connecting other areas of heathland by restoring a lost landscape and reviving the traditional land management that originally shaped it. Threatened bird species like woodlark and nightjar have returned to the site, along with adders, bumblebees and butterflies, and new views across the landscape have been opened up. The pond is now a haven for dragonflies and frogs, visited by a kingfisher and heron, and the woodlands are being managed for vulnerable species like marsh tit and dormouse.
Open all-year round with pedestrian access at all times. The car park is open from 7 am to 7 pm or dusk - whichever is earlier.
Dogs are allowed into the reserve, but they must be kept on leads from 1 February to 30 September, and under close control at all times for the protection of the threatened wildlife species that breed here. Owners are asked to use the bins provided at the entrances to dispose of mess.