The Friends of the Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond is a voluntary community group working to improve the Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond for local people and wildlife. Our aims are:
- To conserve and enhance the local environment in the area around the Westbrook Stream and the public areas around Stonebridge Pond, Faversham, Kent, for the benefit of people, flora and fauna.
- To encourage the goodwill, education and involvement of the wider community.
- To foster community spirit and encourage civic pride and wider social benefits.
The Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond
The Westbrook is a globally rare chalk stream, designated as Priority Habitat – a range of semi-natural habitat types that have been identified as being the most threatened and requiring conservation action.
As well as being an important for ecology the Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond has a fascinating history as it was fundamental to local gunpowder manufacture and, later, watercress growing. Faversham was the centre of the nation’s explosives industry for 400 years and Chart Mills, along the stream, very probably supplied gunpowder for the Battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo.
The Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond are these days designated local green spaces in Faversham. Westbrook Walk is an important green route through west Faversham and Stonebridge Pond is a local beauty spot where families have fed the ducks and waterfowl for generations.
The map above, A Map of Faversham and its environs designed to illustrate the distribution of its Flora 1838 (from A Floral Guide for East Kent being a Record of the Habitats of Indigenous Plants of Kent with those of Faversham, by MH Cowell, Published by W Ratcliffe, 1839) shows the course of the Westbrook in Victorian times. These days, due to abstraction and other human interventions, the Westbrook’s course is much shorter, only running north of Ospringe.