News archive

February 2015

Friday, 13 February 2015

RSPB delight that Government listens to public concerns over threat to Lodge Hill wildlife site

RSPB delight that Government listens to public concerns over threat to Lodge Hill wildlife site

The RSPB is delighted that the Government has listened to the pleas of over 12,400 people concerned about the future of England's finest nightingale site. It has called in for public inquiry an application to build 5,000 homes on Lodge Hill, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, in Kent.

Martin Harper is the RSPB's Conservation Director. Commenting on the news, broken in a press release from the Department for Communities and Local Government, he said: 'There has been public outrage and condemnation that a site of national importance for wildlife has been considered for development without public scrutiny. 'We are delighted that the Government has listened to these concerns, and has reached the only logical conclusion.'

'Call-in' means that this case will be examined at the highest level where the full merits and values of the site and associated issues can be aired. Martin added: 'Through an inquiry we hope and expect that this development will be rejected and the future of this Site of Special Scientific Interest will be secured. The important issue of housing allocation in north Kent should proceed without impacting on nationally-important wildlife sites.'

Lodge Hill is perhaps the most important site for nightingale in England. It also has other nationally-important features, such as rare types of grassland and ancient woodland.

The RSPB's campaign was supported by the Kent Wildlife Trust, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation and the Woodland Trust. The campaign attracted over 12,400 signatures, and the Government has recognised that public support for the protection of the site was influential in encouraging ministers to decide to call in the decision for public inquiry.

Photo John Bridges (rspb-images.com)

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Saturday 28th February, Day trip to the River Lee Country Park.

Saturday 28th February, Day trip to the River Lee Country Park.

The River Lee Country Park covers an extensive area of wild habitat not far to the north of London and is a regular destination for our Group. Meet at 10.00am at Cheshunt Station (National Rail from Liverpool Street and Tottenham Hale).

There are hides from where we can expect to see a good selection of wildfowl, hopefully including smew, goldeneye and goosander, maybe some waders, and perhaps kingfisher, siskin, redpoll and winter thrushes. There is a chance of seeing wintering bittern, for which the Park has become well-known.
Bring lunch as there is no café, however there are toilets. No need to book, just turn up. Leader Graeme Hutchinson. For more information go to:

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Saturday 14th February Coach trip to the RSPB reserve at Minsmere.

Saturday 14th February Coach trip to the RSPB reserve at Minsmere.

Please note that this trip is now fully booked. If you have booked but no longer intend to come, please let Derik Palmer know on 07768 121 435, so that we can make space for someone else.

Arguably the best nature reserve in the country, recently showcased on the BBC's Springwatch programme, Minsmere has reedbeds, lagoons, scrapes, woodland, heath, sand dunes. Expect to see marsh and maybe hen harrier; winter waders and wildfowl, inc. spotted redshank and avocet, smew and goldeneye; bearded tits, green and great spotted woodpeckers, and bittern. Otters and barn owls are regularly seen. There is an extensive visitor centre with café, shop and toilets. Entry £8.00 for non-RSPB members.

Booking essential. Contact Derik Palmer on 07768 121 435, or email cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com
Paid up Central London Local Group members £18.00, non-members £20.00.
Meet outside Embankment Underground Station. Coach leaves at 8am.

For reserve information see: