7 things to spot on the Kent coast

Peregrine flying off the Kent coast

The Kent coast is home to salt marsh, mud flats, towering chalk cliffs and grassland. Its huge diversity of wildlife is one of the reasons we're working hard to protect it.

A walk on the new England Coast Path in Kent will give you unrivalled views of the local wildlife. Rob Sonnen, our ranger for the White Cliffs of Dover, gives some tips on what you can look out for.

Peregrine Falcon

The fastest creature in the skies, flying at up to 200mph. Peregrines have made a spectacular comeback in the last ten years. They can be seen at the White Cliffs all year round.

Turnstone

In winter, these brownish birds fly into Sandwich & Pegwell Bay from Canada. They are named for their habit of turning over stones by the shore while hunting for insects and molluscs.

Look out for Turnstones on the Kent coast
Turnstone on the Kent coast

Skylark

Once a common sight and sound in British farmland, Skylark numbers have dropped steeply around the country. This is due to changes in how land is farmed. On the White Cliffs, we’re farming with nature in mind and Skylark numbers are booming.

Our work to protect this landscape means skylarks are thriving
Skylark on the Kent Cosat

Adonis Blue

Of all the blue butterflies that live on chalk grassland at the White Cliffs, the Adonis is the rarest and most vivid. The sky-blue male can be glimpsed flitting from flower to flower. The brown females spend much of their time amongst Horseshoe Vetch laying eggs.

The most rare butterfly you can spot on the Kent coast
A close up of an Adonis Blue butterfly

Fossils

During the Second World War, deep tunnels were dug into the White Cliffs. Last year the tunnels were opened for the first time in 60 years. Volunteers discovered a stunning scallop shell fossil preserved in the chalk.

Chalk preserved this scallop shell in a wartime tunnel
Fossilised scallop shells were found on the Kent Coast

Other rare species

More than 5000 Lizard Orchids flower at Sandwich & Pegwell Bay.  The orchid’s twisting petals look like the head, body and legs of a lizard.

One of the UK’s rarest plants - the Oxtongue broomrape - is also holding on in Kent. Look for it in the chalk grassland along the White Cliffs.

Red squirrel on Brownsea Island, Dorset

Nature & wildlife 

As the UK's biggest land owner, we look after a lot of nature and wildlife. We strive to maintain our land as an environment that supports a rich diversity of life.