There’s a world of wildlife to explore on Rye’s door-step

THE RSPB’s Dungeness Reserve has a host of events going on during the school holidays.

On Wednesdays Let’s Go Wild sessions will offer a different activity each week, such as Hogweeds School of Wildlife Wizardry on Wednesday 22, when children can mix up a potion, go on a dragon hunt and look for beautiful beasties.

Next Wednesday children can Go for Gold - taking part in quizzes, activities and crafts as the reserve celebrates its own animal Olympics. Medals will be awarded to all competitors and there will be an opening ceremony.

There will be wildlife safaris every Friday morning when you can hunt out the creepy crawlies that live on the reserve and pond-dipping sessions so you can discover the creatures that live beneath the water.

Christine Hawkins, Visitor Centre Manager, said: “The reserve is looking at its colourful best at the moment with vivid blue viper’s bugloss edging the tracks and other flowers such as yellow-horned poppy and tufted vetch in full bloom.

“The wild flowers are magnets for butterflies and bumblebees, meaning there’s always something new to see. Up to August 12 our Bumblebee Bonanza Date with Nature will introduce visitors to the fascinating world of bumblebees. “Bumblebee activities for all ages will be taking place throughout the fortnight, including an introduction to the different bees, guided walks, trails, crafts and making bee houses.

“Join our experts for an introduction to the bumblebees of RSPB Dungeness and you may even be lucky enough to encounter the famous short-haired bumblebee!

“In addition to these activities, there will be a Family Fun Weekend on Saturday 11 and 12 with free admission to all visitors, a saving of £3 per adult and £1 per child.

“Attractions over the weekend will include mini-beast hunts, pond-dipping, face-painting, bumblebee house building and fun and games for our younger visitors.

“At this time of year the reedbeds are alive with young sedge and reed warblers, hobbies – the most acrobatic of our birds of prey - can be seen swooping and darting as they catch dragonflies in mid-air and tiny common tern chicks can be seen on the special nest rafts built for them at Denge Marsh.

For further information on events at Dungeness RSPB Nature Reserve, call 01797 320588; e-mail: dungeness@rspb.org.uk or check the RSPB website: www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/dungeness.

RSPB Dungeness reserve is located one mile out of Lydd on the Dungeness Road. Turn right for the main site and the visitor centre and car park are one mile along the entrance track.

The reserve is open daily from 9 am-9pm (or sunset if earlier). The visitor centre is open from 10am -5pm (4 pm November - February). RSPB and Wildlife Explorer members free. Non-members: adults £3, concessions £2, under 16s £1, families (up to two adults and four children) £6.