Kent Wildlife Trust awarded £10,000 for Oare Marshes

Visitors will soon be able to drink from an artesian well in Faversham as the site has been awarded a £10,000 grant from Swale Borough Council.

The Kent Wildlife Trust received the grant for Oare Marshes, a 71.4-hectare Local Nature Reserve just north of Faversham. The natural spring, which reaches 250 feet down into the earth was tapped by the local Mining Machinery and Improvement Company in the early 1900’s.  

The well had been a highlight for visitors to refill their water bottles whilst taking walks across the marshes since 1982, but the water stopped flowing at the end of 2018. Months of investigations followed, with South East Water finding that the iron pipework needed relining.

The Kent Wildlife trust has now chosen their contractor and successfully applied for the funding. Stephen Weeks, area manager for the Kent Wildlife Trust, said: “We are delighted the council was able to provide the funding to repair the well. It’s been a complex process but we’re thankful to have the funding in place to repair the well and have it open again to the public next year.”

Councillor Tim Valentine, cabinet member for the environment at the council, also agreed that the funding was being well spent: “We are delighted to allocate funding from our special projects fund to fix the artesian well in Oare Marshes. This fund provides up to £1 million every year to help pay for meaningful local projects that enhance our community.”

Work to the well is due to start early this year and the well will reopen by the Spring.

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