At a recent meeting held in London, the Natural England Board said it would uphold protection for one of the most important sites in the UK for the nightingale whose population in the country has fallen by a disappointing 46 per cent since 1995.
Natural England notified Lodge Hill which is located in North Kent that it has SSSI status, which means it is a site of special scientific interest. The RSPB and other groups dedicated to conservation said they were delighted the site’s importance had been recognized.
“Natural England’s Board had a very clear brief: to examine the scientific data and come to a conclusion about the site’s national importance. After a laudable level of scrutiny, we believe Natural England came to the right decision based on clear, robust and reliable scientific evidence.” Martin Harper the RSPB’s Conservation Director said
The site in Lodge Hill is being considered as a site for major development that will be used for housing and other associated usage by the Ministry of Defense (MoD). The MoD has submitted a plan that would create as many as 5000 homes.
Given the fact that Natural England has reiterated SSSI notification for the site, the RSPB hopes the MoD will reconsider its existing plans. Mr. Harper added that his organisation would help Medway Council devise a new plan that would also offer new homes and create new jobs in a sustainable manner for its current population and for future generations.