Many times I've driven past this gate and wondered what it led to, but never before had I entered. Today I made time for it and was very pleasantly surprised.
It's somewhere south-east of Ashford (TR0635) and may have been created as part of the planning consent for housing on the site of the old prison (the internet is silent on its history, in fact on everything about it).
A line of pylons bisects the wood, creating a ride bordered by mature trees which is perfect for butterflies and dragonflies and the large anthills hint that the land was gently treated in the past.
A Scarce Migrant Hawker (I think) posed for pictures, as did a Brimstone. Sheltered sunny corners were alive with insects - the most numerous butterflies were Gatekeepers with a mixture of Meadow Browns, Red Admirals, Commas, Common Blues, Small Coppers and Marbled Whites for company. The surrounding oaks should have held Purple Hairstreaks but not one was seen.
Moving on to Dungeness, I walked around the Long Pit for the first time. Yellow Water-lilies covered the surface and again there were many dragonflies.
Each time I took a path to the water's edge, there was a plop of a green flog diving into the lake.
On Dengemarsh Road (where the Great White Egret showed but the Purple Herons didn't) there are some strangely-sculpted Gorse bushes, not straggly as normal but tightly packed and smoothed by the wind. The branch in the photo is in fact the bush's stem.
Dodder flowered profusely, smothering Wood Sage, Nottingham Catchfly and anything else in its path. It was good to see this strange rare plant, as I can't find it on the East Kent beaches.
Talking of which...... the final Place Less Visited is on the beach halfway between Sandwich and Deal. There, standing proud among the low-growing vegetation in the middle of nowhere, are two tall spikes of flowers that I haven't seen before.
Twiggy Mullein I believe, which is an introduced species that pops up unexpectedly from time to time. A welcome arrival that gives status to an out-of -the-way place.