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Students help create nature trail

Wed 19 June 2019, 4:01 pm

Students at MidKent College have contributed to a new community nature trail project, as part of the regeneration of Chatham Waterfront.

Animal Management and Applied Science pupils worked at the famous military site of Fort Amherst for their college industry placements in April.

Students researched native species of plants, wildlife and soil composition and cleared overgrown shrubs to help open up the site for visitors. They also created habitats and a new herb garden for the area.

Pupils examined the soil and researched different foods that soldiers based at the historic fort would have grown, where there used to be a Victorian military allotment area.

The aim is to create a growing area at this site for community groups, and the allotment site has now been handed over to contractors to finish the works.

Jennifer Botelle, animal management lecturer and the college’s lead on the waterfront project, said: “Our partnership with Fort Amherst has provided a unique opportunity for students to work on a heritage site, and to undertake work that’s linked to their studies but also is of great benefit to our local community.

“We anticipate that the allotments will be open to visitors later this year, and look forward to seeing the finished site. In the meantime, our students are really proud of the contribution that they’ve made – and we’re incredibly proud of them.”

Medway Council and Fort Amherst Heritage Trust received a £1.78m boost from The Heritage Lottery Fund for the regeneration and archaeological exploration project called Command of the Heights.

This long-term project will transform areas of historic value including the Spur Battery, which was once used for troop encampments and siege warfare training, into an amphitheatre with seating for outdoor performances.

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