It is difficult to find anything positive in a landfill site- something so symbolic of environmental abuse. As Kent Wildlife Trust (KWT) – the leading conservation charity in Kent- has shown however, sometimes the very best in eco-friendliness can spring from the very worst. The Trust’s Romney Marsh Visitor centre-(RMVC) situated on the grounds of a former landfill site proves this point.

A hub of sustainability; the site hosts an eco-friendly straw-bale visitor centre complete with cobble stone foundations, low flush toilets, and solar panels. The reserve even has its own wind turbine providing renewable energy to the centre.

Established in 1958, as a regional branch of the national Wildlife Trusts movement, KWT owns 64 nature reserves covering over 3,200 hectares. The Trust is certainly far reaching, boasting a +31,000-strong membership and the neat little statistic that wherever you are in Kent you are no less than 10 miles from a KWT reserve.

KWT strives to take an innovative approach to raising awareness of wildlife conservation in the county. The charity currently holds the Guinness World RecordTM for the largest bee wall, measuring 5M x 2.37M. It is the second of its kind for KWT who also celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2008 by setting the record for the largest ever bird seed cake- weighing 1.29 tonnes. There is definitely a healthy sense of competition amongst the regional Trusts in terms of such accolades – a useful tool in the development of what is ultimately, a unified cause.

Those living outside of Kent should not despair. With 47 Wildlife Trusts, managing 2,300 nature reserves across the UK, there are many ways to get involved. 2012 will mark the centenary of The Wildlife Trusts and provide countless opportunities to join in the nationwide celebrations. Conserving our country’s beautiful natural heritage; what better excuse for a party!

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