LIFE ON THE RESERVE
As we settle into the fourth week of lockdown the Reserve could not be more full of life, enjoying the wettest winter for several years. The rills and ditches which wind across the marsh are full of water creating an even wilder landscape. And these views are filled with thousands of wading birds and wildfowl (21,754 on last week's count to be precise!). They are being pursued by plenty of birds of prey; peregrine, merlin and marsh harrier are regular sights soaring over the reedbeds. Barn owls quarter daily and several short eared owls have settled in the newly planted woodland. Our young trees have needed a little more nurture this wet winter but they been doing well all things considered, and are already providing a fantastic habitat for shrews and voles - and the owls are definitely enjoying this plentiful supply of winter food.
VIRTUAL NATURE EXPERIENCES
Whilst we are closed we are posting updates on Instagram and Facebook, along with regular 'Lives'. For a more in-depth experience Abbie, our in-house nature guide is running live virtual nature tours. You can find out more and book these here.
With the devastating situation across the country it is even more important that people stay home and keep safe, but we are so excited by the glimmer of light the vaccine roll out brings.
The Reserve is at its most spectacular and is always best when shared and enjoyed together. The sunrises recently have been extraordinary, bright reds and pinks seeping across the ditches and rills, to the soundtrack of hundreds of wigeon and wading birds waking up. We have been wistfully thinking of all the guests that could have been enjoying these mornings with a coffee from their hut beds or the Farmhouse kitchen.
UPDATES FROM KINGSHILL FARM
After such a long time being closed we want to ensure that Elmley is even more special when we reopen. Along with our work on the Reserve... and homeschooling, we are keeping busy here at Kingshill Farm planning and creating for when we can reopen.
The Linhay has a wonderful new wood burner and sides are being installed to this small open barn, so we're really excited to be able to open this as a cosy café and dining space. And speaking of dining, our new chef is hard at work developing menus for our day café and resident dining.
We're also resurrecting a rather antique Saharan 4x4 truck, designed for low impact and great views! We can't wait for Abbie to get behind the wheel and start running some awesome Kent-style wildlife safaris from it!
And most excitingly of all, we're so pleased to announce that we have two new Cabins arriving! These were originally planned for last year so we have had plenty of time to fine tune the designs. We've put a huge amount of thought into their layout and location, and we can't wait to share more with you, keep an eye out for more news on these soon.
At the moment, dates are only being offered to existing guests who have had stays cancelled due to lockdowns but they will be open for general booking in the next month or so. Please do make sure you're signed up to our newsletter to be the first to hear.
We are welcoming bookings for future stays from April. These are under flexible terms so you can book without worry.
Dates in the huts are rather limited but please see below for the current dates in April and May. We have also opened up future dates this year in the Kingshill Farmhouse Rooms
We can't wait to welcome you back, until then keep well x
Monday 12th – Wednesday 14th
Monday 10th – Vanellus
Tuesday 11th to Thurs 13th
Sunday 23rd – Thursday 27th