Save Lodge Hill
The most important home for nightingales in the UK is under threat.
Fighting to save the nightingales’ home
Lodge Hill, the UK's most important home for nightingales and protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), is under threat from development.
If the nightingales’ home is allocated for housing, it means that other protected places across the country are at risk as well.
With your help, we’ve made good progress over a number of years to save Lodge Hill SSSI from being covered in houses.
The latest consultation stage closed on 25 June 2018, and over 10,000 people sent messages to ask the council not to allocate it for houses, which was a brilliant effort. We can't stress enough how important it is to have all of those responses to show that people care.
Thank you for all your support so far - and we hope we can call on you again if we need to when we find out what the council intends to do, towards the end of 2018.
What happens next?
Medway Council will now consider all the consultation responses and decide how to move forward with their Local Plan.
They will then produce the next draft, which goes out for the final stage of public consultation, we believe in late 2018 or early 2019.
The owner of Lodge Hill - the government agency called Homes England - has also said that they will submit a new planning application for houses at Lodge Hill, and that could be towards the end of 2018 as well.
With all your help, a big marker has been put in the ground that Lodge Hill SSSI and its nightingales should be saved. We will be watching very closely for the next moves.
Help save the nightingales of Lodge Hill
The song of the nightingale, surely too precious to lose from its most important home?
In a nutshell
The nightingale is one of our most severely-threatened birds – its population has declined by more than 90% in the last 50 years. Fewer than 5,500 pairs now remain across the country.
The range of nightingales has also contracted dramatically, so they are now found only in the south and east of England.
Lodge Hill in Medway, Kent, is their best remaining site, critical for their survival, and so special that it is protected for the nation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
But, in a long-running saga, it is under threat of being lost to a housing development.
To lose it like that would mean the loss of most of the nightingales and other wildlife that lives there and would set a very worrying precedent for all our other protected sites.
Thousands of you helped us get the original planning application “called-in” by government and, thanks to your efforts, the application was dropped.
Thousands of you then called on Medway Council to revise its plans. In the spring 2018 consultation, it had made some changes, but not gone anywhere near far enough.
What you can do
Stay tuned - we are probably going to need your help again to keep the pressure up and save Lodge Hill.
Lodge Hill on the map
Nightingales were once seen across large parts of England (the areas shown in blue), but they have declined by 90% in the last 50 years. Now, these iconic birds are found at just a handful of sites (shown in red), the most important being Lodge Hill.
Latest nightingale updates
Save Lodge Hill: Thank you for your help, and next steps
Medway Council's latest consultation into their draft Local Plan, and in particular their plans to allocate large areas of land within and right next to Britain's best site for nightingales at Lodge Hill, is now closed (25 June 2018). Over 10,00...Posted 26 Jun 2018 by Sara H
Updated - BTO confirm that Lodge Hill is the UK’s best site for breeding nightingales
Update: Posted 11.25am Monday 25 th June: We’ve updated our blog below to reflect our further analysis of BTO’s independent report since its release on Friday. It is useful to understand that where the BTO 's report refers to ‘Lodge Hill’, it does...Posted 21 Jun 2018 by Sara H
RSPB Gravesend local Group walk NwH.
Tuesday 26 June 10am - 1pm Northward Hill RSPB (WC) Meet at Bromhey Farm car park (TQ768764) ME3 8DS. A walk around the reserve to see & hear Spring birds; nightingales, whitethroats, blackcaps. Bring binoculars if you have them and a...Posted 28 May 2018 by Dr Hoo
Dusk at Northward Hill RSPB.
Early evening to dusk is a great time to visit the reserve, it does give a completely different perspective to this unique area of the North Kent Marsh, not that it is a noisy place during the day. Dusk is a good time to hear the Marsh frogs singi...Posted 28 May 2018 by Dr Hoo