News archive

June 2016

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Save the Nightingales at Lodge Hill - latest press release

Save the Nightingales at Lodge Hill - latest press release

In late 2015, the species was listed as Critically Endangered on the UK Red List. In Kent, a site known as Lodge Hill, is under severe threat, as there are plans to build 5000 houses on the former MoD training base, which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) specifically created to protect this endangered species. Not only would this almost entirely destroy what is supposed to be a protected site, such a development would have devastating consequences for nature and result in many breeding pairs of nightingale being pushed out of the home they faithfully return to year after year.

Kelly Tolhurst MP for Rochester and Strood and Species Champion for nightingale said: "The RSPB have long done a fantastic job of maintaining habitats for many bird species around Medway. Our area is vital to countless bird who use our local woodlands and marshes for breeding and nesting, and without RSPB's tireless support we would noticeably see a negative difference in sights and sounds we have loved since a young age. It has been proposed that areas across the Hoo Peninsula, such as the protected nightingale site at Lodge Hill, will be the subject of significant development, which will pose major environmental challenges to habitats needed by nightingales and other species alike. While it is clear that housing developments are necessary, I dispute the plans for 5000 houses at Lodge Hill where there would be a significant impact on our natural environment and local infrastructure. Medway is a densely populated urban area, but we are still lucky to have some amazing pockets of tranquil countryside with an abundance of wildlife. It would be devastating for Medway to lose special sites like these; once they are gone we cannot get them back!"

Martin Jensen, RSPB Communication Officer said: "We are delighted that Kelly Tolhurst MP has become a Species Champion for the endangered nightingale and that she came along for our nightingale walk at Northward Hill. This fantastic species needs all the support and protection it can get, not least in Kent where the proposed Lodge Hill development on the Hoo Peninsula is threatening a nationally important breeding population of nightingales."

You can ready the full story of our fight to save Lodge Hill over on our Lodge Hill casework page by clicking on the url link below.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Give nature a chance - sign the petition to stop Cyprus killing song birds

Give nature a chance - sign the petition to stop Cyprus killing song birds

The Government of the Republic appears to lack the will to ensure adequate enforcement of the law despite local and international bans on trapping. As well as resident species, Cyprus is visited every year by millions of migrating birds, bird trapping is widespread and extensive, causing the large scale killing of an estimated 2.3 million birds a year, including species migrating in spring and autumn and wintering species, including many threatened and endangered ones. Survey records show that 153 bird species have been found in mist nets or limesticks (branches covered with glue), where they die a lingering and agonising death or wait to be killed by the trappers. The birds are often lured to the trapping sites by electronic calling devices playing the songs of migratory birds. 78 of those found are species declining in numbers and listed as threatened by the EU Birds Directive and/or Birdlife International. This indiscriminate trapping causes additional birds of species unwanted by the trappers to be killed and thrown away as "collateral damage" as it is considered 'unlucky' to release them. As well as the Blackcap Warblers, an extensive list of species being sacrificed to the massacre includes: Robins, Finches, Wagtails, Flycatchers, Chiffchaffs, Nightingales, Cuckoos, Owls, to name just a few. In fact, many of the birds on their way south after feeding in the safety of our gardens all summer. To make your voice heard, click on the link below and sign the petition .. hundreds have already but every signature counts!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

June Bird of the Month - Yellowhammer

June Bird of the Month - Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) is a member of the Bunting family that habits farmland and open heath. Singing males call out their diagnostic "a little bit of bread and no cheeeeese" during the breeding season.

Male Yellowhammers are unmistakable with a bright yellow head and underparts, brown back streaked with black, and chestnut rump. In flight it shows white outer tail feathers. Often seen perched on top of a hedge or bush, singing. Its recent population decline make it a Red List species.

A good chance of connecting with this species is to come along to our walk on Sunday 5th June at Hothfield Heath.

To find out more about this declining species click on the link below which includes a short video.