Archive for September 8, 2014

Photo by Sergey Yelisev (

I was astounded to see the story concerning the development of Lodge Hill in Kent this weekend. This site, once a military camp, has been declared a site of special scientific interest for amongst other things the 86 pairs of Nightingales which bred there this year. It is reckoned to be one of the largest breeding concentrations of the migrant left in the UK following the decline in numbers over the past years. The land is also looked at as prime potential development land and the local council has already once sent an application back due to potential environmental damage. But now they have let it pass. what’s the difference this time? Well the developers have added that they ‘ will re-house the Nightingales nearby’. Now it may be me but does their language suggest that they don’t really understand how nature and natural habitats work. Do they really think it’s that simple? You just tell the Nightengales that there is an alternative site a few miles away and thats it! Is this piece of land they are offering even suitable for Nightingales? The simplicity of their statement does not inspire me with confidence. Lets hope that Natural England, the conservation bodies and the government have the balls to ensure this is not some half-hearted attempt by the developers to get round the planning process. If not then no SSSI is safe.

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To ask the governemnt to act on this case go to