To manage Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Commons as active Historic Commons using proven management methods to enhance the biodiversity of the Commons and their role in promoting the well being of local residents and the wider community.
In 1992 the Commons Conservators implemented a ten year Management Plan which they had commissioned from the Kent Wildlife Trust. At the end of this time they commissioned a new plan which was adopted by the Conservators at the end of 2005.
The Warden is now actively following this plan to achieve the objectives laid out, beginning with the creation of graded woodland edges.
The intentions of the Conservators are to return the Commons as far as possible to the open heathland that existed for 2000 years, but was lost in the twentieth century, and to encourage further biodiversity by creating appropriate habitats.
The majority of the 2005 report can be read by following the links below.
Grazing Feasibility Study
The original 1992 Management Plan recommended the reintroduction of grazing as the most effective way of maintaining the Commons as open heathland and increasing biodiversity.
However, this would lead to the problem of keeping animals off the many busy roads that cross or bound the Commons and keeping open access for the general public.
The Conservators commissioned a Grazing Feasibility Study from Kent Wildlife Trust in early 2005. Because of the many problems grazing would bring, most notably finding a way to keep the animals from straying onto the many busy roads that cross or bound the Commons whilst still allowing open access to the public, the recommendations of this report have not been implemented. However, the Conservators still consider grazing to be desirable, so this is still a possible future direction.
You can read the full report below.
Page last updated: 15/05/2007