Lester Hovenden – RIP

We are sad to have to report the news of the passing of stalwart volunteer, Lester Hovenden – affectionately known as our ‘Old Fossil’! Working for many years in the Museum with Graham Goodwin, Lester was a wonderful and much-loved part of the Monkton Nature Reserve ‘furniture’.

Always willing to spare his time and considerable knowledge, Lester will be greatly missed by all who knew him. His natural history drawings and descriptions – especially of his favourite dinosaurs – remain on display in the Field Centre but nothing can replace his enthusiastic contributions to our educational work.

Lester will ‘live on’ at Monkton through the creation of ‘Lester’s Trail’. With generous support from his family, a new fossil and dinosaur trail will be installed at the Reserve and will be ready to go in the New Year.

Rest in peace, Lester.

Member Days – thanks!

We would like to thank all Volunteers for the huge efforts that went in to getting the Reserve open for the recent restricted Member Days. On the day, and behind the scenes, your time and help are greatly appreciated. We welcomed over 220 visitors to the site across the 4 ‘member-only’ Saturdays and the half-term ‘Scavenger Scramble’ & ‘Hallowe’en Hunt’. Quite apart from raising c£1,000 through various ways, we were able to give our visitors a much-needed positive experience and some value for their continued membership, so our thanks to them as well.

Recent work at the Reserve

Volunteers have been able to return to the Reserve since early September and have been busy catching up on vital conservation management work as well as installing a new ‘accessibility’ ramp to the outdoor demonstration area. This work has mainly involved clearance of bracken, young shrubs and grass in the areas of open chalk grassland, both on the old quarry floor and at the upper level near the Loess Pit.

Newsletter Info

We are very aware that no Newsletters were published last year. To keep volunteers, members and potential visitors updated during the Reserve closure it has been decided to make the next few issues available to all. The July, August, September, October, November, December 2020 and February 2021 issues can now all be found in the Newsletter Archive. A direct link to a PDF version of the latest version can be found here as well as on the Reserve front page.

Web Site Update

Monkton Nature Reserve hope that you like the look and feel of our new Web site theme. We have been taking advantage of the lock-down closure of the Reserve to change the design but not the content of the old site. We also hope to be adding new material shortly.

Furthermore, the Thanet Countryside Trust would like to apologise for the recent extended downtime experienced with our old site owing to issues with our provider.

Coronavirus Closure Update

We are sorry to have to report that as of today (8/6/20), and adhering to current Government guidelines, the Thanet Conservation Trust are still not in a position to open the Reserve to the public.

We would like to thank all our previous visitors, members and friends for their understanding in this matter, as well as the members of our affiliated astronomy group, the Monkton Stargazers.

Any changes to this decision will initially be made via our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/monktonreserve/

Field Studies Centre Flooring

The new flooring in the Field Study Centre is now complete. It covers the entrance lobby, reception area, natural history museum, bird viewing area, main bookshop room and the rear corridor and has made a huge improvement to the environment. We wish to thank all our visitors for their understanding and co-operation during the works, and throughout the on-going subsequent re-organisation of the bookshop.