Major threat to habitats along the South Swale
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.
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 would urge our members to raise objections in response to the consultation.
Phase Two Consultations have now ended.
The scale of the development has not significantly reduced since the Phase One Consultation, but there have been some changes:
The development will be set back 60 metres from the Saxon Shore Way
The developers are working with Kent County Council to enhance the public rights of way with a possibility of including permissive pathways, cycleways or bridleways across the site.
The number of panels has been reduced. None will be placed at Cleve Hill Lane, and there are proposed screening mitigation near to neighbouring properties at Nagden, Warm House and Cleve Hill, including a community orchard at Graveney Hill.
A habitat management steering group has been set up with Natural England, RSPB and Kent Wildlife Trust.
Cleve Hill Solar can be contacted at
Cleve Hill Solar Park Website
KOS October outdoor meeting
Ray O’Reilly writes:
“Thanks to all members who joined Lyn and I today on our October Outdoor Meeting.
We had lovely warm sunny unseasonable weather throughout the day and as a result several butterflies were recorded including Clouded Yellow.
We had an early start on a rising tide at Oare Marshes where the number of waders was impressive they included among them 6 Ruff, 2 Knot and a single Greenshank and Spotted Redshank, several Bearded Tit, Water Rail, Raven and a Little Owl were also watched.
Late morning we moved onto the charming Luddenham Churchyard close by, where we had excellent views of a Yellow-browed Warbler and 2 Brambling, we had lunch in the vicinity before travelling to Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory.
A fungi foray was taking place there as we headed to St George’s Bushes and saw a stonking roosting Long-eared Owl perched in a very exposed position with ear-feathers erect and deep orange eyes frequently wide open, it was a joy to behold. We moved onto the Restharrow Scrape Hide and was extremely lucky to watch a bobbing feeding Jack Snipe that allowed close scope views. The bobbing action is very difficult to observe usually and is fascinating behaviour an action that we all enjoyed immensely.
Our last site was around the Chequers area of Sandwich Bay, here the fields gave us at least 12 Grey Partridge including some juvenile birds.
We saw 79 Species today dipping out on Coot and hearing only a couple of other birds.
KOS conference – 3 November
KOS Outdoor Meeting – 18 November
See you there.
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.