Lodge Hill threat removed
The RSPB has welcomed the announcement by Homes England of its intention to avoid building housing on the Chattenden Woods and Lodge Hill Site of Special Scientific Interest (Medway, Kent). This nationally protected site holds the UK’s most important population of the rare and declining nightingale.
A substantial issue remains to be resolved, which is that housing may still be proposed directly adjacent to the site. This has the potential to be very damaging to the nightingales.
However, Homes England has signalled it understands the issue, and is keen to work with the RSPB and other stakeholders.
Chris Corrigan, the RSPB’s Director for England, said:
“All the thousands of people who have campaigned over many years to save Lodge Hill and its nightingales can feel their voice has been heard. We commend Homes England for listening and making amendments to its plans.
“There is still some way to go, but today is an important step in the right direction, and we will continue to encourage Homes England to ensure that their final plans fully safeguard Lodge Hill and its wildlife for the nation.”
RSPB Campaign Page
KOS December outdoor meeting
Ray O’Reilly writes:
“I led the final Kent Ornithological Outdoor Meeting of the year today and we had a good turnout despite it being fairly close to Christmas. After yesterday’s foul weather we were lucky, as it was calm and sunny for our walk around Cliffe Pools and then onto Northward Hill RSPB Reserves. We saw 84 Species between us, with highlights being 2 Bewick’s Swan, 2 Greenshank, 25 Corn Buntings, 2 Red-necked, 3 Black-necked and single Slavonian Grebes, Hen Harrier and Barn Owl.
Thanks to David Fenton-Scott for supplying mince pies and having the front to wear a Christmas Jumper.
Our next outing will be January 13th 2019, followed by February 17th, March 31st, April 28th, May 12th and June 2nd.
Contact me closer to the time for venue details.”
Major threat to habitats along the South Swale: New Application Submitted
Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd are proposing to develop a solar park on the north Kent coast, at a site located roughly one mile northeast of Faversham, three miles west of Whitstable and situated closest to the village of Graveney.
KOS is opposed to the scheme. Members are urged to make their views known once the consultation process starts.
A revised DCO application for the solar park, with a slightly reduced number of panels, was submitted on 16 November 2018. The Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to accept the application for examination. Should the DCO application be accepted, the formal examination process will then be managed by the Planning Inspectorate and individuals wishing to get involved will need to follow the process described below.
Representations can be made once the application is accepted.
Any representations (giving notice of any interest in, or objection to, the DCO application) must be made on the Planning Inspectorate’s Registration and Representation Form (below)
Download the form.
The Planning Inspectorate is required by law to make the information that you provide in any representation publicly available.
The Cleve Hill Solar Park proposal is for a large array of solar panels, arranged on an east-west axis, projected to generate up to 350 megawatts of power. The developers claim it could provide enough electricity to power over 110,000 homes.
KOS is working to support other conservation bodies objecting to this scheme and urges our members to raise objections in response to the consultation.
Cleve Hill Solar can be contacted at
Cleve Hill Solar Park Website
Updated Member’s Blog
KOS member Steve Ashton has updated his photo blog at a new web address, with some stunning images.
See Steve’s Photographic Journal
New Kent List published
An updated and easier-to-use version of The Kent List has been published. Dating back to 1781, maintained by Keith Privett, the page lists all species reported in Kent.
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.
Kent Ornithological Society’s Tetrad Atlas
The KOS Tetrad Atlas has been restored and is now available on this website.
Features: distribution maps for the New Breeding and Winter Tetrad Atlas projects (2007-13), maps for the Second Breeding Atlas (1988-94) and First Breeding Atlas (1967-73).
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
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.