Dungeness

Dungeness is Britains only desert. The land is also the largest area of shingle in the World. Liz and I have visited this site of Special Scientific Interest twice, and we will return in September for the Dungeness Power Station Tour.

This tour takes the visitor on a two-hour exploration of the nuclear power station. Unfortunately, we could not attend this time around as guests need to be security vetted prior to the visit. We are looking forward to returning, as the visitor centre provided a fascinating insight into nuclear power generation.

A primary reason for our first visit was to see the last film directors Derek Jarman’s home ‘Prospect Cottage’. The wooden building was a fisherman’s residence before Derek purchased it in 1986 and it was his home until his early death in 1994. Derek died of A.I.D’s related disease and his book ‘Smiling In Slow Motion’ provides an insight into a brave and intelligent man. The cottage evokes a real ‘feel’ for this unique creative artist.

Click Any Image To View The Gallery

As already mentioned Dungeness is the most massive expanse of shingle in the World. It is of international conservation importance for its geomorphology, plant and invertebrate communities and birdlife. This is recognised and protected mostly through its conservation designations as a national nature reserve (NNR), a Special Protection Area (SPA), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and part of the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) of Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay.

A remarkable variety of wildlife inhabits Dungeness, with over 600 different types of plant: a third of all those found in Britain. It is one of the best places in Britain to see insects such as moths, bees and beetles, and spiders; many of these are very rare, some found nowhere else in Britain.

Click Any Image To View The Gallery

The short-haired bumblebee, Bombus subterraneus, was last seen in the UK in 1988 but has survived in New Zealand after being shipped there more than 100 years ago. After unsuccessful attempts to reintroduce the New Zealand bees at Dungeness in 2009-2010, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Hymettus, Natural England and the RSPB teamed up with the Swedish government in a second attempt and introduced 51 of them in 2012 and 49 in 2013 to the Dungeness Reserve. This will be continued each year to ensure a successful integration.

Dungeness is worthy of an extended visit. Liz and I will stay here for a few days next time.

I hope you enjoy looking at some of the images recorded during our visit.

Happy New Year

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