Ashford is a town in the county of Kent, England. It lies on the River Great Stour at the southern or scarp edge of the North Downs, about 61 miles (98 km) southeast of central London and 15.3 miles (24.6 km) northwest of Folkestone by road. At the 2021 census, it had a population of 76,405. The name comes from the Old English æscet, indicating a ford near a clump of ash trees. It has been a market town since the Middle Ages, and a regular market continues to be held.
St Mary's Parish Church has been a local landmark since the 13th century, and expanded in the 15th. Today, the church functions in a dual role as a centre for worship and entertainment.
The arrival of the railways from the mid 19th century onwards, created a significant source of employment contributing to the town's growth as a rail hub at the centre of five distinct railway lines. The high speed rail line (HS1 High Speed 1) between London and the Channel Tunnel passes through Ashford's International Railway Station thus linking the town to Paris and other European destinations. The M20 motorway connects Ashford to the Channel Tunnel, the national motorway network (via the M25 Motorway) and to London (via the A20).
Ashford has been marked out for growth in several Government plans from the 1960s onwards. In the 1970s, the construction of a controversial four lane ring road together with the multi-storey Charter House building led to the destruction of significant parts of the old town although some areas were spared and preserved. Other changes in the last 40 years include the construction of the County Square shopping centre, the redevelopment of the Templer Barracks at Repton Park, the Finberry estate to the southeast, and the award-winning Ashford Designer Outlet.
Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]
- Our Place Wye, community interest company, aiming to nurture a more inclusive and integrated village, which is more resilient and responsive to individual needs, age and social profile, and stimulates a healthy, caring and sustainable community in Wye and the surrounding area. added 16:34, 29 January 2022 (UTC)
- Transition Town Tenterden
Regular events[edit | edit source]
- Wye Farmers Market, 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month 09.00 - 12.00
Community resources[edit | edit source]
Singleton Environment Centre opened in June 2008 and provides a full and imaginative programme of activities catering for people of all ages from both the local community and visitors to Ashford.
Activities include environmental, conservation and educational activities, fitness classes, holistic health treatments, arts and entertainment and community events.
The centre serves as a local attraction and environmental education resource for local primary schools and a growing number of environmental groups and projects in the borough of Ashford. W
- Singleton Environment Centre, link checked 14:36, 29 January 2022 (UTC)
Biodiversity[edit | edit source]
The Green Corridor brings wildlife to the town. Ashford's rivers are surprisingly natural considering their urban surroundings, and are home for many wild plants and animals. Common kingfishers, grass snakes, damselflies and possibly water voles can all be seen. Ponds like the one at Bowen's Field attract amphibians. Singleton Lake is a habitat for wetland birds and Buxford Meadow is a wet grassland with an enormous range of plants, insects and other species. It is because these habitats are so close to where people live that the Green Corridor has been designated as a Local Nature Reserve.
Open spaces[edit | edit source]
Ashford Green Corridor is a green space that runs through the town of Ashford in Kent, England. The Green Corridor is made up of parks, recreation grounds and other green spaces alongside the rivers that flow through Ashford. It is a Local Nature Reserve.
The town has been growing steadily since the early 19th century. As the town has expanded, land close to the rivers has not usually been built on, due to the risk of flooding because the Ashford Borough Council has protected it as green space.
The Ashford Green Corridor is a linear park alongside the two main rivers through the town, which is protected from development by lying on the main flood plain. Most of the area covered by the park has been marked by Ashford Borough Council as a nature reserve. This area includes Victoria Park, which lies to the immediate south of the town centre and the railway. It includes an ornate fountain first shown at the 2nd International Exhibition in London in 1862, and presented to the park by George Harper on 24 July 1912. The Coningbrook Lakes Country Park opened on a former quarry site to the northeast of town in 2015. W
Cycling[edit | edit source]
The National Cycle Network includes two routes through Ashford. These are NCR 17 from Rochester to Hythe and NCR 18 from Canterbury to Tunbridge Wells. W see also: Ashford Green Corridor
Food activism[edit | edit source]
Sustainable transport[edit | edit source]
The Stour Valley Walk follows the main river, connecting Ashford with Lenham and Canterbury, and links with other long distance footpaths in this part of Kent. W see also: Ashford Green Corridor
Resources[edit | edit source]
Apps for sustainability[edit | edit source]
Other resources[edit | edit source]
- Save Wye, "How an English village fought for its future and won", archived site kept for benefit of similar campaigns. link checked 14:43, 29 January 2022 (UTC)
Near you[edit | edit source]
Canterbury - Folkestone and Hythe - Maidstone - Swale - Tunbridge Wells
See also[edit | edit source]
- Towards a more democratic and climate friendly way of meeting housing need across England
- London and South East England
- Saving water in South East England