Over the last few decades, we have lost significant areas of many of our most precious habitats. We now need to restore those degraded habitats, replenish our depleted soils and arrest the decline of native species to deliver robust ecological networks that are sustainable, ecologically coherent and resilient to climate change. We will expand our use of natural processes and natural solutions to ensure more sustainable use and management of habitats, to provide biodiversity net gains, and to protect and grow our natural capital.

Our objectives for terrestrial ecosystems, habitats and species are, by 2045:

  • 20.84% high value semi-natural habitat (74,750 ha) well managed for nature (from the 2015 baseline of 14.6% and 54,640 ha).
  • An ecological network of semi-natural habitat (high and low value) covering 30% of Kent (112,000 ha) (from the 2015 baseline of 27% and 100,872 ha).
  • 75% Sites of Special Scientific Interest restored to favourable condition, securing their wildlife value for the long term (from the 2019 baseline of 68%).
  • More, bigger and less fragmented areas of wildlife-rich habitat outside the protected sites network for wildlife, with an increase in the overall extent of all priority habitats to ensure greater connectivity and resilience to climate change.
  • Over half of Local Wildlife Sites in good management, securing their local wildlife value for the long term (from the 2019 baseline of 43%).
  • New development to better provide for a greener urban environment, through increased urban tree planting, the inclusion of integral wildlife niches, and green building and landscape design.
  • Protect and restore existing trees, hedgerow and woodland, whilst increasing the county’s tree cover with the right trees in the right places, which supports the recovery of wildlife, delivers natural climate solutions and enriches people’s lives.
  • Kent-specific threatened and iconic species of terrestrial animals and plants are recovering, including those that support ecosystem services (for details, see Species table below).

Show more about Terrestrial ecosystems, habitats and species

Priority habitats

Traditional orchard

Traditional orchard

2025 target

Maintain in favourable condition 39 ha; restore 8 ha and create 67 ha

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Brownfield

Brownfield

2025 target

To map and maintain the county’s best and significant brownfield sites and manage them appropriately for their significant…

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Hedgrows Kent

Hedgerows

2025 target

Restore 2250 km and plant 2250 km new species-rich hedgerow

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Lowland dry acid grassland

Lowland dry acid grassland / Lowland heathland

2025 target

Enhancement and restoration of 5 ha heathland; 20 ha acid grassland.

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Lowland Meadow

Lowland Meadow

2025 target

25 ha creation; 100 ha enhancement and restoration

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chalk grassland

Chalk Grassland

2025 target

730 ha creation; 770 ha enhancement and restoration of semi-improved chalk grassland

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Fresh new spring beech leaves, Thornden Wood, Canterbury

Lowland Beech and Yew Woodland

2025 target

Restore 92 ha; create 49 ha

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Priority species

Polygala Amarella

Dwarf or Kentish Milkwort (Polygala amarella)

2025 target

Mapping and monitoring and action to move towards removal of this species from the brink of extinction by…

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Heath Fritillary, RSPB Blean Woods, Kent

Heath Fritillary

2025 target

Maintain a minimum of 25 interconnected colonies in Kent. Increase the area of suitable interconnected habitat within the…

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Adonis Blue

Adonis Blue

2025 target

To retain Adonis Blue on all known sites and locate more sites, to show an increase in the…

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Adder

Adder

2025 target

Increase by 2.5% per annum in the adder range (number of monads occupied) and overall frequency of recording.

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Swifts, Stodmarsh NNR

Swift

2025 target

To stop the decline of swifts by ensuring that every new house built in Kent contains one swiftbox…

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Nightingale

Nightingale

2025 target

1,450 to 1,550 singing males.

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Turtle Dove

Turtle Dove

2025 target

To maintain the population of turtle doves in the 7 highest priority Turtle Dove Friendly Zones by 2020…

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Shrill Carder Bee

Shrill Carder Bee

2025 target

By 2020, an increase in the distribution of SCB bees in recording hectads (10 km x 10 km)…

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Indicator species

Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea)

Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea)

2025 target

Number of records of this species.

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Common Blue

Common Blue

2025 target

Monitored via the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme transect system and through casual recording. This will provide data on…

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Serotine bat

Serotine bat

2025 target

Colony counts of maternity roosts at known Kent serotine roosts.

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Hedgehog

Hedgehog

2025 target

Number of tetrads where this species is recorded.

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