Kent’s Nightingales threatened by greedy developers once again.



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

This is Brownfield

Bakersfield, the brownfield site at the end of my road which was home to hedgehogs, little owls, nightingales, lizards, snakes and turtle doves have been destroyed. I tried to stop it, I couldn’t, but the fact that I tried, helps. Please watch this video and write to McCulloch Homes and Bioscan to condemn their actions.

A nightingale sang and then was destroyed.

Last night I sat in my garden with a friend. We built a fire, watched a shooting star fall overhead and listened to a nightingale sing. It made me unbelievably sad. These moments are what makes life precious and we are destroying them.

The scrub that the nightingale sang in is being ripped up to make way for a inappropriate and unnecessary housing development. Houses sit empty all over this country and we are destroying the places that bring beauty and joy into our lives to make way for developments which only enrich the lives of the, already rich men who champion them.

I will no longer step out of my door in the morning and hear cuckoos. I will no longer sit in my garden at 1am and hear a nightingale sing and this destruction erodes the very things that make life worth living.

I am supposed to follow the party line that the wants of humans have far more value than the needs of the other creatures that live on the planet. I just can’t subscribe to this point of view. Humans are two a penny, nightingales are rare and getting ever rarer as they make way for profit and I care passionately about this and cannot rouse myself to care if people don’t have a mortgage.

This morning I tidy the remains of the fire away and take some comfort in the fact that the blue tits eggs have successfully hatched in my nest box. I can do this. I can make homes for blue tits but all I can do for the nightingale is rage, rage against its destruction.

Listen to a nightingale sing here.


Nightingale site destroyed.


As I sit here nightingales and cuckoos are singing at the end of my road in a little patch of scrubby and chalky delight known as Bakersfield. At the same time a digger is ripping the scrub up overseen by an ecologist from a firm called Bioscan.

The ecologist should know better. He does know better. He knows this is wrong.

“Why do you do it?” I ask him when I stop to challenge them over why work has begun on a site when I have a letter from Medway Council’s housing department telling me their will be another public appeal.

“I can’t afford to work for the RSPB,” he says. “They don’t pay enough and, besides my boss has done a nightingale survey.”

Even the digger driver is saddened to see the site go. “This was my playground when I was a lad. Before long all this countryside will go to housing and Rainham will be attached to Sittingbourne. And what about the traffic? It’s going to be gridlock when this development starts.”

“But what can we do?” they both say.

What can we do? What can we do while the blind pursuit of profit for a few is put ahead of the desires of local residents or the wildlife that inhabit this precious site?

What can I do? I wish someone would let me know.