Beacon Wood Country Park Big Cat (2006)
This 300 feet high round hill, historically surrounded by ancient woodland once had a beacon upon its summit which was part of the beacon chain used to warn of the approaching Spanish Armada during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
Since then the site has been used to manufacture gunpowder, and cement. In the 19th century the historical woodland was cut down for an orchard and between 1935 and 1964 it was mined for clay.
Since 1991 it has been a country park and it was here that a big cat sighting was made in 2006. The following quote from a Newshopper article by Alison White dated 30 December 2006 and entitled ‘Sightings of big cats rocket in past month’ refers to a big cat sighting at the country park. ‘A GROUP investigating sightings of big cats had a busy time last month. The Kent Big Cat Research Group has been investigating four alleged sightings across north Kent. The group’s founder, Neil Arnold, says the most recent sighting involved a man reported walking through Bean Country Park. His dog froze at the sight of a black cat in the woods. According to Mr Arnold, this could be the same black leopard which was seen near McDonald’s in Bluewater recently by a family.’