Sunday, 25 March 2012


David Cameron has confirmed that the draft UK aviation strategy – originally due out for consultation in March but now delayed until the summer – “…will include an examination of the pros and cons of a new airport in the Thames estuary.” 
While the consultation will look at all options, Kent Wildlife Trust Chief Executive John Bennett said: “Proposals for airports in the Estuary have been ruled out many times, and its consideration yet again is contrary to common sense and a waste of taxpayers’ money.The Thames Estuary is internationally important for nature conservation, and an airporthere will be catastrophic for wildlife.” 
Head of Conservation and Policy at Kent Wildlife Trust, Sue Young, said: “The Government is a long way from the Conservative Party election pledge to be the greenest government ever. Wewill be ensuring that the environment’s voice is heard in the Estuary airport debate and are prepared to stand up for our natural heritage, together with the communities of North Kent and other environmental organisations. Kent Wildlife Trust continues to push for the removal of Estuary airport proposals from the consultation.”

Highland Cattle Thornden Woods Blean

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Little Egret Pegwell Bay

Thames Estuary Airport ruled out by 'fact based' debate?

Kent Wildlife Trust welcomes a statement by the Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, that the UK aviation debate will be based upon “real facts and figures”.
The statement was made by Ms Greening on a visit to Southend Airport, and suggests the Government is resistant to the lobbying and scaremongering of commercial interests. Ideas for airports located in and around the Thames ary have been proposed by various companies and individuals many times since the 1940s. All these ideas were ruled out when looked at in any detail, even long before recognition of the area’s internationally important wildlife.

Ms Greening said: “We are getting to the stage where there is a
question mark over whether we've got the capacity to meet the country's needs."

Sue Young, Head of Conservation and Policy at Kent Wildlife Trust, says: “Assuming a case can be made for more airport capacity, and also assuming that this need cannot be met by making better use of existing resources, even a cursory look at the facts and figures relating to the Thames Estuary, rule it out as an option. It is vital that the Government recognises the economic and social benefits that a healthy, natural environment delivers, and the huge cost that will be borne, should we lose it.

“The idea of an airport in the Thames Estuary has been dismissed so many times it is hard to understand why the Government has not automatically ruled it out as an option from the start.”

While the Government has said all options will be in the consultation on UK aviation policy due later this month, it has also recognised the Thames Estuary’s environmental value by awarding it a share of £7.5 million as one of twelve national Nature Improvement Areas.

Sue Young adds: “Landscape-scale conservation is the fundamental step change that is necessary for the creation of a coherent and resilient ecological network in England, and we welcome the commitment the Government has shown to this the natural environment in the Thames Estuary by identifying it as a Nature Improvement Area.”

RSPB CAMPAIGN By Martin Harper Conservation Director

Tell George to wake up!

There is just one week left before George Osborne makes his budget statement but that's still time for him to wake up to the value of our natural environment! Since my last e-mail our campaign has really stepped up and over 15,000 people have e-mailed the Chancellor – help us reach 20,000 before Budget day on 21 March.
As well as telling us how much more we'll have to pay for a pint of beer or a litre of petrol, the UK Budget provides a test of the Government's commitment to the environment.
Last November, the Chancellor described hard-won legal protections for our most precious wildlife sites as a 'ridiculous cost on British business'.
Smart growth
Watch the Wake Up George animation to see what things could be like if he takes a different view later this month.
The current economic crisis means the Chancellor needs to deliver economic growth and create jobs. But we don't believe that the environment is a barrier to success. It is crucial to our well-being and our economic performance. We want smart growth that does no environmental harm.
Help George do the right thing
Please step up for nature and e-mail George Osborne today - it only takes a couple of minutes. Urge him to use his Budget statement on 21 March to put the environment at the heart of the UK's economic recovery.
Thank you for your support.
Martin Harper
Conservation Director

Monday, 12 March 2012

Oak Beauty Biston strataria Moth Blean Woods

Remains of the Cooling Towers Richborough

Richborough Power Station Demolished

On the morning of the 11th March 2012 my family and I decided to walk along the cliffs at Pegwell Bay to watch the demolition of Richborough Power Station with friends and found a suitable spot amongst the bushes looking across the Bay.

The demolition at 9am, which took 18 months to plan, was over in less than a minute on Sunday after experts set off sequenced explosions at the base of the 300ft (100m) towers.
Richborough power station, near Sandwich, was opened in 1962 to generate energy from local coalfields.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Parakeet Feeding Behaviour Studies

In conjunction with Project Parakeet Division of Biology at the Imperial College London I am investigating direct competition for food between garden birds and parakeets.
This is being achieved by a simple year-long experiment in gardens around London and Ramsgate regularly visited by parakeets. A squirrel-proof bird feeder has been put up in the gardens for a year-long observational experiment that started in December 2011. The data from each garden will be used to investigate the quantity of food consumed by the parakeets and how their presence affects the feeding visits of other garden birds. Birds forage less in the presence of a parakeet and less than when compared to the native great spotted woodpecker.
If you have any Parakeets roosting in your garden in the evening or have found any Parakeet feathers please contact me on 07967 506126.


Pegwell Garden

Pegwell Garden by Kinzler Pegwell
Pegwell Garden, a photo by Kinzler Pegwell on Flickr.