Please Help Save Lodge Hill and Stop a Damaging Precedent for all of England’s Protected Places

Once again Medway Council is trying to destroy Lodge Hill, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and one of the last strongholds for nightingales in the UK. The nightingale population has dropped by 90% in only 50 years. The decline of the species is so alarming that nightingales are listed amongst our most threatened birds on the UK Red List.

Please help save Lodge Hill, other SSSIs and the nightingales by taking part in the RSPB’s campaign action. Thank you.

Action Alert: Please Help to Save Berkshire’s Nightingales

I came across the petition via @NgaleNights. Nightingales need all the help we can give, so please do show your support and sign the petition. Thank you.

A reminder of their beautiful singing can be heard in the short video below.

Nightingales

Nightingale NightsPlease help to save the UK’s nightingales. The website highlights just how important it is to ensure the survival of every nightingale population—which means no development at Lodge Hill, Chattenden.

Action Alert: Please Help Save the Nightingale from Extinction

The text below is from a Care2 petition to the UK Prime Minister. At the time of writing this post, the petition has been signed by 48,234 people – please add your name to the petition.  Thank you.

Nightingale

The survival of one of Britain’s most beautiful song birds – the nightingale – is under threat from developers. The UK population of the nightingale has declined by 91 per cent since the 1960s and the entire conservation scheme to save it is at risk because of a huge development on Lodge Hill, an area intrinsic to the survival of the bird.

Land Securities, the biggest property developer in Britain, has been given permission to build 5,000 homes, three primary schools, a nursing home and hotel on Ministry of Defense land at Lodge Hill, which was recently designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by Natural England, the government’s environmental protection agency.

Medway Council granted permission for the development despite strong opposition from local residents, a planning inspector, local councilors, as well as several leading environmental groups.

Lodge Hill, once used for bomb disposal training, features ancient woodland and rare grassland alongside ruined buildings that is home to 19 bat roosts, 10 badger setts as well as 84 singing male nightingales, more than 1 per cent of the UK population. The site is also home to the scarcest butterfly in Britain, the Duke of Burgundy, which is only found in 18 small areas of the country.

As part of mitigation plans, Land Securities propose to create alternative nightingale habitat on a 304-hectare site in Essex, located 14 miles north of Lodge Hill. However, there has never before been a successful relocation of nightingales. The bird migrates from Africa to their ancestral breeding grounds in Britain each spring – and there is there no evidence the birds will find the proposed Essex location.

Environmental groups believe the nightingales’ success on Lodge Hill may also be linked to the absence of deer, which destroy the undergrowth where nightingales nest. Deer are present around the proposed Essex mitigation site.

Lodge Hill needs to be preserved as a vital green space for the future of the nightingale as well as the other species that thrive in the area. Please sign and share the petition to help save the nightingales of Britain from extinction.

Action Alert: Housing Against Nightingales – No Way!

The opening paragraph in the Ecologist’s article:

A 5,000-house development has just won planning permission on a SSSI nature area in Kent which is home to over 1% of the UK’s nightingales. It violates government planning policies, and ministers have the power to stop it. But will they? Yes they will, writes Martin Harper – provided enough people show they care!

Please show your support for the nightingales and the Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) by asking Eric Pickles to call in the decision.  If you live in the constituency of Rochester and Strood, please also contact Mark Reckless, MP and ask him to help persuade Eric Pickles to call in the decision.  Thank you.

How Wolves Change Rivers

I came across the video below on the Wolf Conservation Centre web site.  The video shows an excellent example of the interconnectedness of nature.

“What we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves.” Petra Kelly