Victoria Park is a great space for both people and wildlife. The trees, river, pond and long grass areas provide habitats for many species of birds, butterflies and other insects.
The Great Stour river runs along the edge of the park. In total the river is 40 miles long and runs through the Weald, from Lenham via Ashford to Canterbury and Sandwich. The river within the park has a natural profile with many meanders and wide margins of vegetation that support a diverse range of riverside plant species, including cuckoo flower and alder.
The river corridor designation is Local Nature Reserve and forms part of the Ashford Green Corridor, linking south Ashford with the countryside and town centre. The chalk stream itself, an internationally rare habitat with potential for excellent water quality due to the natural filtering through the chalk beds of the Downs, supports a rich mix of flora and fauna, including water voles, kingfishers and white-clawed crayfish. You can find out more about Ashford Green Corridor on The Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership Website.
In 2012 a new community orchard was created as part of a project lead by Ashford Borough Council and Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership (KSCP). Planting was carried out by volunteers, the local community, youth groups and schoolchildren. The orchard was further extended in 2020 by KSCP, the Friends of Victoria Park and other local community members as part of the Victoria Park Project. It is a traditional orchard that provides a food source for insects, and contributes to the biodiversity of the park.
If you are interested in reading more about the ecology of Victoria Park and Watercress Fields, please download the Victoria Park Ecological Report [pdf] 2586KB.
If you are interested in getting involved with ecology activities in the park, our project partner KSCP are delivering conservation tasks and activities with Victoria Park's Conservation Volunteers Group. KSCP's programme of conservation training workshops came to an end in December 2021. However, new volunteers will still receive some basic training during tasks and activities.
To sign up, please fill in the Victoria Park Conservation Group Volunteering Form.