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  • Blog Post: High Court Challenge to Lydd airport expansion fails

    The sun is shining and our reserve at Dungeness looks wonderful in mid May as the natural world gets on with the urgent business of spring. But sadly I’m not down here to celebrate this glorious time of the year – but to receive news of the outcome of our High Court challenge into the...
  • Blog Post: Farewell to 2013 – a tough year for nature’s special places

    Can I start with a slightly belated ‘happy new year’! I started this blog in September 2009 and set myself the target of a minimum 8 posts a month – and only once, in April last year. It came in just under with just 7 posts! In the early days, I wrote the majority of the posts...
  • Blog Post: Boris Island is Fantasy Island?

    In stark contrast to Shepway District Council who voted to live under the flight path of commercial airliners last week – Mayor of London, Boris Johnson is saying he doesn’t want an airport. His plans for a new airport in the Thames estuary have taken a turn for the worse ever since he confessed...
  • Blog Post: Today’s decision to extend Lydd airport is wrong

    Today’s shocking decision to approve an extension to Lydd airport in Kent is the latest stage in the sorry saga of attempts to develop the site. We’re very disappointed at the news and are profoundly concerned for the future of one the UK’s most important and iconic wildlife sites....
  • Blog Post: Withering criticism of energy plans

    The House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee has published its report today on the proposed national policy statements (NPSs) for major energy infrastructure. The MPs have rightly delivered a ‘ withering critique’ of the NPSs in their current form, and proposed many very sensible...
  • Blog Post: Purple herons on Springwatch

    We’ve just heard that the nesting purple herons at Dungeness are likely to get a mention on BBC Springwatch tonight. We're on tenterhooks waiting to know how they are doing – the behaviour of the adults is still very encouraging with infrequent but regular trips to and from the nesting...
  • Blog Post: A Big Website for a Big Society.

    I heard yesterday that Dungeness is the most designated place in England – and so it should be, given the wealth of wildlife it supports. Yet even the most special of the special is not immune from threat. We are gearing up to put the case for the nature of Dungeness at a public inquiry into plans...
  • Blog Post: Cold winds at Dungeness

    No change there then! As befits any self-respecting peninsula the wind can be a bit sharp at Dungeness. But as the waiting continues to find out how the nesting purple herons are getting on (everything is still looking good) we're all looking forward to better weather coming in over the weekend....
  • Blog Post: Dungeness and the Dee in the news

    Tomorrow sees the public inquiry into plans extend Lydd Airport and potentially boost passenger numbers to 2m a year (they are currently under 1000) really get under way. We’re appearing at the inquiry giving evidence to back up our long-held objection to this proposal. The inquiry opened last...
  • Blog Post: Lydd Airport Public Inquiry - getting prepared

    Here's just two boxes of the paperwork for the public inquiry - the culimation of weeks of work by the inquiry team. You can catch up on the background to the case here . We'll be reporting regularly from the inquiry and for our Dungeness reserve during the weeks it runs. It opens on the...
  • Blog Post: England is a special place

    As followers of this blog will know, the RSPB is busy right now saving many special places, from Dungeness to the Tana River Delta in Kenya. While colleagues are immersed in the Lydd public inquiry and other forthcoming inquiries and cases around the country, we’re fighting a battle on another...
  • Blog Post: Lydd Airport and Dungeness – an update

    The Government Office for the South East (GOSE) has reported that they have been receiving many letters requesting that the applications for the expansion of Lydd Airport are called in for the Secretary of State to determine. It’s good news that the letters are flowing – and if you are...
  • Blog Post: And it’s over to Lydd as we welcome RSPB enewsletter readers.

    You join us at a tense stage in the long-running campaign to protect the unique and distinctive natural environment of the Dungeness peninsula from the threat of airport expansion. Welcome to the Saving Special Places blog – do have a rummage through the posts of the last six months. You...
  • Blog Post: Lydd in perspective

    I read this speech when I was feeling disappointed by the decision by Shepway District Council in Kent to approve the development of Lydd Airport – and it lifted my mood. I’d watched the webcast from the council chamber in Folkestone into the night and you could see from the tenor of the...
  • Blog Post: Wednesday is decision day for Dungeness

    Way back in September , I reported on yet another delay in the saga that has been the plans to extended Lydd airport. To recap, back in September we were anticipating Shepway District Council taking a decision on the proposal by Lydd Airport to extended their runway and boost passenger numbers from...
  • Blog Post: Lydd Airport extension decision prompts legal challenge by the RSPB

    Dungeness is one of the most important wildlife sites in the world; it is protected at global, European and UK levels. It is home to species found hardly anywhere else in the UK [LINKS to other pages]. It is also a crossroads for migrating birds stopping off on their epic global journeys. The RSPB...
  • Blog Post: Shepway councillors reject advice and back Lydd airport plans

    The debate ran long into the night and eventually Shepway’s councillors voted to approve the runway extension and new terminal building. Tthe full text of our press release issued in response to this latest stage in this long running case follows. The RSPB, along with a huge range of other organisations...
  • Blog Post: Lydd airport; this one will run and run

    One reason that our casework (the work we do to prevent damage to our best wildlife sites) lends itself to blogging is that it goes on so long - the story can develop over years before a final resolution. But we thought as far as Lydd airport's expansion plans were concerned we were nearing the end...
  • Blog Post: Lydd Airport Public Inquiry – a bit of jargon busting!

    The goings on in a Public Inquiry (PI) are not quite ‘Rumpole of the Bailey’, but it is still a formal and legal process with all its associated technical terms and references. My understanding of the most commonly used terms are: Examination-in chief – the witness’s barrister...
  • Blog Post: Nature will need you.

    I spent a couple of days in Milton Keynes earlier in the week joining conservation staff from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These are the people often at the centre of the long running sagas of site protection that I cover in these posts – so it was good to spend a couple of days...
  • Blog Post: 2010, that was the year that was. Part 1.

    Well, as we come to the end of the first full year covered by the Saving Special Places blog – what have been the highlights? Here are some of mine – but do add any you think I’ve missed. (There'll be second post tomorrow). We’ve managed a post roughly every two and a half...
  • Blog Post: Hopping days and autumn hopes

    My Dad grew hops in Kent – and as summer eases into autumn, the chill early ‘hopping’ mornings and bright days take me back to the hectic weeks of hop picking. I plucked a small handful of hops from a bine draping itself through a hedge and scrubbled the hops between my hands to release...
  • Blog Post: Keep Calm and Carry On Planning

    I get the feeling that this blog is going to be busy over the next few weeks. The budget this week has been picked to pieces by pundits – and I’m not going to add that list, here’s RSPB Conservation Director, Martin Harper, giving his perspective . The budget has raised the temperature...
  • Blog Post: Stop Lydd Airport expansion – how you can help

    The RSPB has now written requesting that Lydd Aiport’s expansion plans are called in by the Secretary of State so that they can be determined at a public inquiry. You can do this too, and we would really appreciate your support. You can read more about the whole case here on the web site and...
  • Blog Post: Yesterday England, today Dungeness

    Hot on the heels of the England football teaming securing a place in the last sixteen of the World Cup – we’ve just heard that the planning applications to expand Lydd airport have been called in by the Secretary of State. Both are significant wins on the way to bigger matches in the future...