Tag Archives: Grosvenor and Hilbert Park

High Brooms from the air!

Lots of people tell me that they don’t understand ‘Twitter’ as a vehicle for social media or that they don’t see the point of it. I try to explain that it is a way of either disseminating information to a greater audience or indeed filtering back information from the millions of tweets sent every day to find something for your own interest.

And every now and then it throws up a real gem such as the aerial image below that was taken by @NPAS_Redhill  (the National Police Air Service based at Redhill) on the 11th September 2013.

Aerial view of Highbrooms - photo courtesy of @NPAS_Redhill

Aerial view of Highbrooms – photo courtesy of @NPAS_Redhill

Looking at the photo you can see that this is the view looking south over modern day Highbrooms, the major road in the foreground is Highbrooms Road with the one way system with Stewart, Gordon and Wolseley Roads spurring off and the Brick Works Freehouse standing in the island (@the_Brick_works). To the right of this you can see St Matt’s Church (@stmattschurch) at the end of Gordon Road and then the large white building which used to be the Longbow pub, now Longbow Court, standing on Colebrook Road just below the green on the corner of Southview and Colebrook Road with footpaths diagonally crossing it.

In the middle ground on the left side of the photo and adjacent to the train line you can just make out the metal cage of the dis-used gas works, this is currently being dismantled (see earlier blog posts) and won’t be there much longer so its great that this photo has been taken with it still in place. The roads running from left to right across the photo are Holmewood, Cambrian and Dynevor Road, all joining up with Woodland Road.

Further south you can see across the wooded and open areas of Grosvenor and Hilbert Park to the left and Silverdale Road stretching back up the hill towards Queens Road and Stephens Road and reaching further into the St Johns area of Tunbridge Wells on the centre and right.

If you are struggling to see all of this it may be easier if you use the annotated image below although it is at a slightly different angle of view but the best that I could do quickly.

Bing mapping tool - 3D map of similar area

Bing mapping tool – 3D map of similar area although at a slightly different directional view

If you have something to contribute to this blog, or just want to let me know you are enjoying it feel free to comment below, email me at HighbroomsSociety@gmail.com or send me a message on twitter to: @HighbroomsSoc

Copyright for all images belongs to Daniel Marsh @danieljmarsh unless otherwise stated – please do not replicate or use in any form without prior permission being granted.

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Kids going batty in High Brooms?

It was a warm summer evening on the last day in July this year and as the light began to fade a group of very excited children (and adults) gathered in Grosvenor and Hilbert Park for the ‘Kids Going Batty’ event, led by Saul and Cally from the Kent High Weald Partnership.

Saul (aka Batman) from the KHWP

Saul (aka Batman) from the KHWP

We started off by playing a game with one child being blindfolded and becoming  a ‘bat’, they then tried to catch the other children as ‘his moths’, using only their voices to guide him towards them to illustrate how the bats use echo-location to locate their prey as well as avoid hitting obstacles in the dark.

Once they had finished this activity they quickly moved over to the craft table where they each made a pair of bat ears to wear, Saul explained that these were not too scale as a human size bat would actually have ears as long as their body but these would probably have proved quite unwieldy for the kids in the woods later on.

Ears on and ready to go!

Ears on and ready to go!

Equipped with new ears and an understanding of echo location we were ready to move onto the main event and go and find some real bats. Saul and Cally talked through what we were likely to see before handing out identification booklets and ‘bat detectors’ which have ultrasonic sensors for picking up the high frequency bat sounds that are outside the range of normal hearing. Each bat species has a different frequency and we would be able to listen in as well as identify the bats with these devices.

Bat detecting in the woods at Grosvenor and Hilbert Park

Bat detecting at night, listening in to the high frequency sounds in the woods at Grosvenor and Hilbert Park

We knew that we would be in for a good night for bat spotting as the still calm conditions would allow the bats and insects that they feed on to fly and the previous night had been wet so the bats would also be hungry.

We didn’t have to wait long before our detectors starting beeping and buzzing and looking skywards we could see the first bats of the evening had arrived. These were Common pipistrelles and Soprano pipistrelles, both ‘urban bats’ that probably roost in and around the older houses in the area. We admired their acrobatics as they looped and turned through small spaces between the trees and could hear them zeroing in on their prey and eating it. As it gradually became darker the bats also came closer to us, feeding on the insects that were in turn attracted by the carbon dioxide from our own breathing and were hoping to feed on us!

Common pipistrelle - Drawing by Chris Shields (rspb-images.com)

Common pipistrelle – Drawing by Chris Shields (rspb-images.com)

We moved on in search of other species and were lucky enough to pick up the sounds from a Noctule bat; it wasn’t long before we also spotted them in the dark flying very high and fast over the open areas of the park. This is the UK’s biggest bat, although it would still fit in the palm of your hand and apparently are not that common.

We ended the night having had a great result and when asked what they had learnt about bats from the evening I was pleased that my son piped up with ‘Bats fly in the dark’ so it’s good to know he was taking home some of the really useful information that was shared with us by our guides during the evening.

UK bat species are in decline and although the bats themselves are protected by EU law it is essential that we also protect their habitats and that of the insects that they feed on if we are to help save them.

If you have something to contribute to this blog, or just want to let me know you are enjoying it feel free to comment below, email me at HighbroomsSociety@gmail.com or send me a message on twitter to: @HighbroomsSoc

Copyright for all images belongs to Daniel Marsh @danieljmarsh unless otherwise stated – please do not replicate or use in any form without prior permission being granted.

Further information about bat conservation and future bat related events can be found using the following links:

Bat Conservation Trust                                http://www.bats.org.uk

Friends of Grosvenor and Hilbert Park       http://www.fogh.org.uk/events

Kent High Weald Partnership                      http://www.khwp.org.uk/