Anyone who lives in or has passed through Sundridge recently cannot fail to have noticed the transformation of the land adjoining the A25.

Spearheaded by Parish Council Chairman John Evans and implemented by a growing team of village volunteers, the land has been partially cleared and the ponds reinstated. The wetland area will have a significant positive impact for local wildlife, while providing public access to a wild space on the edge of the village.

Interest and support for the project has grown steadily. During The Big Help Out (which formed part of the Coronation celebrations), villagers gathered to launch a new duck house on the largest of the ponds.

John Evans and his team are now on a mission for the land to be secured as a village amenity space for the future. British Gas are registered owners of the area and John is in negotiations with them to transfer the land to the village.

Further exciting developments are taking place westwards on the land between Brasted and Sundridge, north of the A25. Already, brambles and Himalayan Balsam are being cleared and work is under way to improve wildlife habitats and reclaim the ponds.

The next stage of the plan is to bring Brasted Lido back into action. The remains of the Victorian lido are at the southern end of Combe Bank Park (which is within the Kent Downs AONB). The lido – fed directly from the Darent – was used until the 1950s. Today the site is derelict but it is hoped it will be possible to restore and partially reconstruct the lido structures and provide new access by extending the Darent Valley Path through this area of the park.