Visitor Guidance

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Help us to keep Vinters Valley Nature Reserve a special place to visit

Vinters Valley Nature Reserve is one of the few areas dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of nature, which can be found so close to Maidstone’s town centre. It is a quiet oasis where animals and plants can live and if we are careful we can experience the joys of nature.

The nature reserve contains many animals and plants which at present we may feel are ‘common’ but increasingly, due to outside pressures, are becoming uncommon and may even become rare within our own lifetimes.

There is also a special group of local people who make this nature reserve possible, our financial supporters and volunteers who help run the reserve . We are not a green space area run by the Maidstone Borough Council, instead we rely upon local residents to ensure the nature reserve can be a home to wildlife and a place for quiet recreational activities.

But it is a delicate balance, to experience nature without destroying the very beauty we wish to enjoy.

We welcome all visitors to the nature reserve and hope you enjoy your visit. Please show us you care for nature by following our rules and guidelines and in this way you will not only help the wildlife in the reserve to survive, but also ensure everyone can quietly experience the joys of the reserve, both now and in the future.

We hope you treasure your visit to this nature reserve and value the part we are playing in helping to preserve the diversity of life on this planet.

Mahatma Gandhi said “We have to be the change we want to see in the world” and it is by our actions that we will be judged by future generations. If you would like to be part of our vision for the future and wish to make a financial contribution, or help with the running of the reserve, please visit our website or contact the warden.

Vinters Valley is a nature reserve on private land, where public access is permitted for quiet recreational activities and the enjoyment of nature.

Please take care when walking around the paths of the nature reserve, as the surfaces may be uneven (& slippery during wet weather) and low branches may be encountered. Take particular care around the lake and other water sources.

Please do not remove anything from the nature reserve; it might be some animal’s home or food source. As a guiding principle ‘take only memories and leave only footprints’.

We ask that all dogs remain on the footpaths and be kept under close control (i.e. either on a lead or within 5 metres of the walker), particularly during the main animal breeding season (1st April – 31 July). The exception is along the main valley floor, located between the seats near the stone steps (and where the stream goes underground) and the seat at the top of the valley near the wooden bridge. Free running of dogs along the valley floor (not the slopes) in this area is allowed.

If you are walking a dog, any poo produced by your dog must be picked up and placed in the bins provided around the nature reserve.

Activities of a business nature, carried out for profit, are not allowed in the nature reserve.

Please contact the warden if you wish to undertake organised events in the nature reserve.

The following are specifically prohibited in the nature reserve:

> Fishing / shooting / snaring / trapping or injuring of animals
> The picking / uprooting or damage of plants and flowers
> Barbeques, bringing alcohol or drinking alcohol in the nature reserve
> Playing music in the nature reserve
> Motor vehicles (except the agricultural vehicles), bicycles, radio controlled toys

All illegal activities, including acts of vandalism, will be reported to the police and prosecutions actively pursued.

Please note that farm animals are kept on parts of the reserve which are not open to the public, for your own safety do not enter, nor allow your dog(s) to enter, gated and fenced off areas that may contain farm animals.

We hope you enjoy your visit to the nature reserve. If you would like to find out more about the reserve and how you can support our work protecting nature, then please log on to our website.