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
KOS November outdoor meeting
Ray O’Reilly writes:
“It was a very pleasing turn out for today’s KOS Outdoor Meeting with our regular attendees being joined by one or two members new to our field trips. We had a sunny day around the Dungeness area, although there was a biting Easterly breeze. We met at 8 am and birded the ARC Pit and Boulderwall Farm area, seeing a lovely Firecrest, 2 or 3 Cattle Egrets, Great White Egret, Peregrine and a Chiffchaff.
We moved onto Scotney Gravel Pits and walked around the rear of Scotney Court Farm finding a Black Redstart and a pair of Whooper Swans, many escaped and feral birds were present here including c50 Barnacle Geese, 12 Egyptian Geese, a Bar-headed Goose and 2 Black Swans we headed quickly back to the bird observatory at Dungeness for lunch.
Following that we carried out a seawatch from the fishing boats seeing both adult and 1st Winter Little Gulls, myriads of Kittiwake, Guillemots and Razorbills and several Red-throated Divers all on the sea. Our final site before dusk was Burrows Pit on the RSPB Reserve where we saw 4 adult Yellow-legged Gulls, 1 juvenile Mediterranean Gull and several Goldeneye.
81 species were excepted by Lyn as having been seen including a Kingfisher and thanks to David Fenton-Scott for his photography.”
Lodge Hill once more under threat
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. In 2017, thanks to a public campaign, the 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) and was subsequently withdrawn.
Earlier this year (2018) Medway Council submitted a new Draft Plan which again included Lodge Hill. A new campaign was launched by the RSPB as part of a public consultation, which ended on 25th June with over 10,000 people sending messages of objection.
Medway Council is expected to submit another Draft Plan towards the end of 2018, following a review of the results of the consultation. Homes England, the owners of Lodge Hill, are expected to submit a new planning application for houses towards the end of 2018.
For further information, see the RSPB Campaign Page below.
RSPB Campaign Page
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.