Conningbrook Lakes is an area on the edge of Ashford that I try to visit regularly, once a month if possible - not always easy. A Country Park has been mentioned and discussed for a couple of years now and it seems that plans are now gaining momentum. Some intriging ideas and information is available at the following link:
Just this last winter this site held 4 species of Heron at the same time: 2 Great White Egrets, 1 Bittern, 4+ Little Egrets and several Grey Herons as well a nice flock of Goosander that commuted between the lakes, the River Stour and Eastwell Park lake, which is not too far away.
A visit a few weeks ago revealed a Kingfisher (I believe a pair might be nesting somewhere on/near the middle lake), 2 Yellow Wagtails (always appear to breed in the farmland adjacent to the river), 7 singing Reed Warblers and the same number of Whitethroats. Also Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings, a calling Cuckoo plus good numbers of Swallows, Swifts and House Martins with the odd Sand Martin in the mix.
The bird list for this site over the years is quite impressive and long may it continue with the hoped for conservation and management plans mentioned on the website above.