Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos, singing from a hawthorn bush, Minsmere, Suffolk

Save Lodge Hill

The most important home for nightingales in the UK is under threat from development once again. We need your help to save it.

Every voice counts

Our most famous songbird, the nightingale, is once again at risk of losing its most important breeding site to development. If building work goes ahead, 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 from being covered in houses. But Lodge Hill and its nightingales are under grave threat, yet again. We now have until 25 June 2018 to make our voices heard in Medway Council’s new consultation. 

Every voice counts. Please take ten seconds to send a simple message to Medway Council to ask them to save Lodge Hill.

Help save the nightingales of Lodge Hill

The song of the nightingale, surely too precious to lose from its most important home?

The song of the nightingale, surely too precious to lose from its most important home?

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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 do so would mean the loss of most of the nightingales and other wildlife that lives thereand 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. It has made some changes, but not gone anywhere near far enough.

The Council's new public consultation runs from 16 March to 25 June 2018. We need your voices to be heard yet again; we need to keep up the pressure.

Nightingale perched in tree

Why Lodge Hill is special

Nightingales have declined by 90% in the last 50 years and now appear on the UK's Red List of birds of high conservation concern. There are fewer than 5,500 pairs left in the whole country and to find somewhere with two or three pairs is usually considered exciting. 

So imagine the amazement when Lodge Hill was first surveyed by the developers in 2012 and they found 85 pairs. That's more than any other site in the country – no wonder the Government agreed that it was so special it needed to be protected. 

This former Ministry of Defence training ground also includes ancient woodland and rare meadows, home to badgers, bats, rare wildflowers and other wildlife.

Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos, side view on branch

What you can do

Nightingale in tree

Thank you to everyone who has already taken part in the #SaveLodgeHill campaign. We believe that your participation has already made a difference. Imagine what would have happened if there had been no combined roar of disapproval! 

This brand new consultation needs us all to stand up and be counted once again, even if you responded to previous consultations. So please take ten seconds to send a simple message to Medway Council to ask them to Save Lodge Hill.

Please encourage all your friends and family to send their message, too – numbers really matter.

And why not go along to an event that is part of the National Nightingale Festival? It’s your chance to hear nightingales for real on guided walks and at other events, with a range of partner organisations. (The sad thing is that, because nightingales are now restricted to the south and east of England, we can only run events in these areas.)

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.

Field maple trees, Acer campestre, at Lodge Hill SSSI site, Medway, Kent

Working together to save Lodge Hill