Nature Notes – A dusk walk at Northward Hill.

Join me for a stroll at dusk across the RSPB reserve at Northward Hill in Kent where I reminisce in the cherry orchard and hope to catch a glimpse of the spectacular rook roost.

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Kent’s Nightingales threatened by greedy developers once again.

nightingale

nightingale

As nightingales and turtle doves prepare to begin their epic migrations from Africa there are fears that they will have no where to return to. Every day more of their habitat is destroyed for unnecessary development.

Now, Conyer Brickworks, one of Kent’s top nightingale sites, is under threat as greedy developers try to persuade the planning authority they need 3 hectares of a top wildlife habitat to build just 24 luxury homes.

Three hectares is the equivalent of 3 Twickenham Rugby stadiums. This space can hold 240,000 people but presumably 24 rich people need the space to house oversized cars in double garages and driveways.

It is an obscene waste of a precious habitat which is one of the best places in the country to hear beleaguered nightingale and turtle doves whose numbers have fallen by over 90% in recent years, partly through habitat loss.

This proposal signifies all that is bad about our current planning system as luxury homes for the few are built at low densities on habitat necessary for the survival of our rarest species.

Of course Palm Developers have teemed up with the usual suspects Bioscan to greenwash their plans. I personally cannot think of a fate bad enough for ecologists who look at a wildlife rich site, know it’s importance, but still are prepared to find a way for the developers to destroy it.

I have no idea how these people sleep at night.

In this instance they wish to persuade the planning authority that destroying nightingale habitat is acceptable if they manage the remainder. The management plan that they propose amounts to little more than a bit of annual scrub cutting and reed pulling, something which could easily be achieved by volunteers. It in no way compensates for the loss of important habitat and protected species.

In this case the developers are adding insult to injury by proposing to build a giant viewing tower in the centre of the site, no doubt so we can all see how much space the 24 homes are taking up. This is a ludicrous idea and will no doubt become an excellent vantage point for crows and magpies to spy out the nests of the remaining turtle doves or swoop down on lapwing chicks on the adjacent marshes.

Do not let the developers and their entourage have their way. Do not allow them to greenwash greed. Do not allow our nightingales and turtle doves to fly all this way and face so many dangers on route only to find their home has been destroyed to make way for the privileged few.

The planning reference for this development is 18/506460/FULL

Please take the time today to comment on the plans. The closing date is the 24th February

https://pa.midkent.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=PJMNCUTYHFD00