Monkton Nature Reserve is managed by the Thanet Countryside Trust, a registered, not-for-profit charity (No: 285972) established in 1982, which holds the Reserve in trust for the people of Thanet and East Kent.

The Reserve is situated in an old chalk quarry, last excavated in 1958. It was rescued from becoming a county council rubbish tip in 1985 on the condition that it became a nature reserve and study centre. The Trust was particularly anxious to protect one of the last natural assets on Thanet because, apart, from the coastal cliffs and seashore there are very few areas of natural habitat left on the island.

We currently have a board of five trustees, two part-time employees, and a devoted band of volunteers and supporters.

The Trust’s Aims

The Trust’s aims, as set out by the Charity Commission are:

“The advancement of public education on ecology, natural history and related subjects.”

The Trust’s aims has a clear focus on conservation and education for the community. This is being achieved by enabling and encouraging local people to make use of the Reserve and to support the Trust in its conservation work through the development of their rural skills and knowledge. We are working hard to develop ourselves as an educational resource for a much wider range of local community groups, schools, Colleges and Universities.

Our business philosophy is based on the wide experience of the trustees and staff, who are motivated to improve and successfully manage the habitats on the Reserve whilst providing services to the communities of East Kent. The Trust works to meet many of the challenges facing its long-term viability with limited resources and small numbers of key personnel.

We plan to provide a diverse range of services to extended stakeholder groups, such as:

  • members of the public, including our volunteers and members of the Trust
  • people who are interested in nature, ecology and geology
  • astronomers and those interested in science
  • groups of walkers, Duke of Edinburgh groups, uniformed youth organisations, and bird watchers
  • schools across the range, from nursery level through to higher and further education establishments
  • work experience placements, for those out of work and needing to rebuild their skills, including those with learning difficulties and disabilities.

The Trust is actively seeking out grant-makers for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups who will benefit from the Reserve’s increasing facilities, and is pleased to have been nominated by the Co-op Community Fund for a schools outreach programme.

Thanet Countryside Trust’s vision and mission statements are available to view, along with some of our successes so far.


We are dependent upon and extremely grateful for the levels of support, financial and otherwise, we receive from our local Member of Parliament; Kent County Council, Thanet District Council, and their senior councillors; our many members and visitors to the Reserve; and most of all, to the numerous volunteers who give their time freely and willingly to support our work in conservation and education.