Kent Messenger Maidstone
His name’s Dusty...l
Environmentalists thrilled by creepy crawlie discovery
... And he’s a cockroach. The rare dusty cockroach is apparently making himself well at home in Maidstone
THE discovery of cockroaches is not usually a cause for celebration, but environmentalists in Maidstone are ecstatic following the discovery of two rare species of the insect.
Colonies of dusky and tawny cockroaches were found on land north of Penenden Heath on Sunday.
And according to conservationist Cllr Tony Harwood, who found them, it is the first time the dusky variety has been found in Kent and both species, which are native to the UK, are listed as nationally scarce.
Cllr Harwood who represents Maidstone North said: “This is a remarkable discovery that proves local people really can protect and restore wild landscapes.
“It shows that rare animals and plants can hang on within our urban and suburban neighbourhoods and the challenge now is for those in positions of influence to robustly protect and link all of the county town’s few surviving wild places.”
The site they were found on used to be a miniature golf course and is neighboured by the M20.
The discovery comes after more than a decade of volunteer work to restore the landscape to heath land. Fertile land which was previously covered by turf and topsoil has been exposed and a total of eight pools dug, including two in the past year.
A spokesman from Maidstone Borough Council, who maintain the land, said: “This is very good news for the heath and for the local people who have worked with the council to create two small pools over the last year and to encourage a more natural heath land environment.”