Have you ever heard a nightingale, Mr Pickles?

Have you ever heard a nightingale Mr Pickles?  It’s absolute magic, that such a tiny bird can utter such a sweet song.  It is totally idyllic.  But it is a very rare treat nowadays; so many of their habitats have been destroyed.  If Lodge Hill too is destroyed the nightingale’s song will be an even rarer event.  What’s more, it would give the green light to developers that nature doesn’t count, that a designation as site of special scientific interest is meaningless.  It must not happen.

These were my closing words on the letter prepared by the RSPB for objectors to send to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.  This is the last chance to save Lodge Hill and its nightingales.  You can write to Pickles here.

NIghtingale. Photo: RSPB

NIghtingale. Photo: RSPB

As the RSPB explains on its website, Lodge Hill, former Ministry of Defence land on the Hoo Peninsular, Medway, is a rare and important site for nightingales.  It’s a designated site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and so of course it should be safe.  But the philistine Medway Council has given outline planning permission for 5,000 houses here, trashing the site and its nightingales.

There’s still hope though.  Because the development would conflict with the government’s national planning policy to protect SSSIs,  the decision must be referred to the secretary of state who can choose to call it in and hold a public inquiry.  It’s vital that he does.

My nightingale experience was unforgettable (see blog).  I just hope that Pickles too has had such good fortune and knows that nightingales really matter.



About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in Birds, Natural history, planning, RSPB and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Have you ever heard a nightingale, Mr Pickles?

  1. Reblogged this on Over The Hills and commented:
    It seems, as usual, our politicians and planners know the price of everything and the value of nothing, John B.

  2. Geoff Mullett says:

    Another appalling decision by a Conservative dominated Council, that will doubtless be endorsed by Pickles. The Conservatives came into power with a pledge to be a ‘green’ government, but anyone who believed that were green themselves.
    Build here, build there, build anywhere seems to be the motto, as councils throughout the country are forced to fulfill their quota of new houses.

  3. tom fisher says:

    Terrible news to consider building on a SSSI – I’ve signed the petition. One quibble – a nightingale’s song is spectacular, loud and full of variety, with a big range of notes –but it’s hardly sweet or melodious

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