“Sweeney” commemorative event at the Eastborough viewpoint, Northward Hill RSPB reserve, Bank Holiday Monday
David Saunders has arranged with RSPB Northward Hill for the unnamed viewpoint overlooking Gordon’s Hide to be officially named “Sweeney Viewpoint” and has arranged for a brass plaque in honour of the late Owen to be be affixed to the same bench where Linda’s plaque is. The RSPB have very kindly paid for the signage. There will be an official unveiling in situ at mid-day on Bank Holiday Monday, 29th May. Attending will be family members and representatives of the RSPB campaign.
Save Lodge Hill: Consultation deadline extended to 30th May
KOS members will be aware that in September 2014, Medway Council approved a planning application for 5,000 houses that would directly destroy 144ha of Lodge Hill SSSI (and an estimated 80% of the territories of the Nightingale population) and have a severe impact on the rest of the 351ha SSSI. In 2012, a full survey estimated there were 85 singing males.
Thanks to a public campaign, this decision was ‘called in’ by Government (in other words, it was deemed to be a decision of such national importance that it ought to be determined by the Secretary of State). This goes to a public inquiry in March 2018.
We now have until 30th May to respond to Medway Council to try and prevent them allocating Lodge Hill for development in their Local Plan.
To fail would pave the way for the loss of Lodge Hill’s nationally-important population of Nightingales, and would set a dangerous precedent for SSSIs everywhere.
What you can do
Take 2 minutes to complete the RSPB’s online action:
Fill in your details to show it is a genuine response, and it will then generate an automatic email.
Take 10 minutes and write your own letter to Medway Council and send to .
The current issue
However, in a separate strand of the issue, Medway Council is currently consulting on its draft Local Plan. As the Council explains in its consultation,
“The aim of the Local Plan is to ensure that Medway grows sustainably, and to provide land for the homes, jobs and services that people need, whilst protecting and enhancing the qualities of the area’s environment and heritage”
So a key part of the Local Plan process is drawing lines on maps of what broad types of development should go where.
In their consultation, the Council confirms that it “supports the development of Lodge Hill as a planned new settlement”. Each of the maps of its development scenarios shows Lodge Hill.
The consultation does contains many encouraging words about Medway’s environment. For example, the Vision says,
“By 2035 Medway will be…noted for…its stunning natural and historic assets and countryside”. It also says, “Medway will be defined by development that respects the character, functions and qualities of the natural and historic environments, in order to reduce the risk of flooding, to manage finite natural resources, and to ensure that important wildlife and heritage assets are protected”.
However, the consultation does not explain in the text that Lodge Hill is a SSSI, nor why Lodge Hill was retained at what they call Stage 3 screening of what is called the Strategic Land Availability Assessment, which should remove SSSIs from consideration.
How can you help?
The deadline for replies to Medway Council on Lodge Hill has now been extended to 5pm on April 18th. We need as many people to stand up for Lodge Hill as possible by 18 April latest.
Respond to the consultation: Complete the easy online action. But if at all possible, please write a fuller response to the consultation instead. You can find useful information on how to do this here.
On social media: Follow #SaveLodgeHill on Twitter and Facebook. Every retweet, share and new account you tag helps us to reach as many people as possible before the consultation closes on 6th March.
Honorary Life Vice Presidents
Congratulations to John Cantelo and John Hollyer on being elected Honorary Life Vice Presidents of the Society. This recognises the contribution that both these long-serving members have made to birding in Kent and to the Society over many years.
Bird Surveys at Chartwell- can you help?
The National Trust are looking for local bird watchers to help with bird surveys at Chartwell as part of an initiative to improve the habitat management on the estate and in surrounding woodlands.
If you are interested please contact Fraser Williamson (Countryside Ranger) National Trust, Chartwell.
Kent Ornithological Society’s Tetrad Atlas has been restored and is now available on this website.
The primary aim of this project is to document the distribution of breeding bird species in the county and to highlight changes that have occurred since the previous two atlases. This information is vital to identify declining species, as well as those that are doing well, to assist in formulating plans to ensure the continued health of our natural environment.
WHAT FUTURE FOR BIRDS IN KENT?
An exciting one-day conference
Saturday November 4th 2017 Canterbury High School 9.30 – 4.15 Registration & Coffee from 9.00am
John McAllister KWT
David Walker Warden, Dungeness Bird Observatory Ian Hunter Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory
Dr Hazel Jackson University of Kent
Murray Orchard Kent Ornithological Society
Dr Stephen Wood Kent Ornithological Society
Kent Bird Artists, Norman McCanch, Stephen Message and Ian Rendall will be exhibiting work.
£25 for current KOS members
£30 Guests & Non KOS members
£20 under 25s
Including refreshments on arrival, morning coffee, buffet lunch and end-of-day refreshments.
This stimulating one-day conference will examine a range of issues, especially the changes facing birds both resident in – and migrating through – Kent. Presentations will range from the importance of habitat and its preservation and enhancement for birds, to the history of bird life in the county, including new arrivals and long-term residents.
The morning sessions will be broadly themed on “Places” and the afternoon session will focus on “Species”.
Print and return the form it contains to:
Chris Roome, Rowland House, Station Road, Staplehurst, Kent TN12 0PY together with your cheque for the appropriate amount. Payment can also be made using BACS.
Places are limited – book early!
Can you help to save Little Terns in Kent?
Little Terns, once abundant and regular around the Kent coast, are now struggling to survive as a breeding species in the county.
Many of the traditional breeding sites have now been abandoned through pressures from human disturbance, predation and possibly reduced feeding opportunities.
One of the few remaining sites on the North Kent coast at Castle Coote near Seasalter is under the management of Kent Wildlife Trust, but breeding success has not been recorded for over 10 years, although some pairs do attempt to breed most summers. One pair was seen incubating in 2016, but the nest was subsequently abandoned, with human disturbance being the likely cause.
Little Tern Photo: Steve Ashton
Protection measures such as electric fencing, trail cameras and clear signage, as well as attraction methods like decoys and audio devices, are known to be more effective when supported by the presence of seasonal wardens. Warden support is required during the breeding season between 1st May and 31st August, ideally providing rota presence seven days a week.
Kent Wildlife Trust is seeking volunteers to carry out this protection by deterring human disturbance around the breeding colony, educating visitors to the reserve and monitoring wildlife activity and sightings. If you would be interested in helping with this project or require more details, please contact
Kent Wildlife Trust Swale Area Warden
Phone: 07889 822408
The Kent List
An updated version of The Kent List is now available.
The format for Field Meetings has changed for the year ahead. The dates have been set (see events page) but the location will be decided nearer the day depending on conditions at the time, e.g. the location of interesting species, weather etc. Details will be published nearer the time or participants can contact Ray directly. Meetings usually start at 9.00am
Kent Ornithological Society was founded in 1952.
Our aims are:
To record and monitor the county’s bird life providing both an accurate historical record of Kent’s birds but equally importantly providing data that can be used to help protect valuable habitats from development and other threats.
In doing this, we seek increase knowledge and understanding of birds and their habitats in the county and encourage and support people seeking to take up birdwatching as a hobby.
Membership of the society is open to all and costs £12 a year. Members receive a free copy of the annual Kent Bird Report and regular electronic newsletters. See details
The Society runs regular indoor talks at a central location in Maidstone and an outdoor programme of field meetings. They are opportunities for both beginners and experienced birdwatchers to meet others in the county and to develop their knowledge and skills.