RSPB Comment re 150m buffer zone between Deangate and Chattenden Woods & Lodge Hill SSSI01/07/2021
Just to clarify the RSPB position; we have been consistent in our advice to Medway Council that a 400m buffer is the only secure and sustainable way to safeguard the nightingale population at the Chattenden Woods & Lodge Hill SSSI. We do not believe that lesser distances are consistent with the evidence based on cat roaming distances, and we remain unconvinced of the efficacy of alternative mitigation measures such as fencing or cat covenants. We believe that building substantial numbers of new houses within less than 400m of the boundary of the SSSI will create a significant and permanent predation problem for the UK’s most important population of nightingales – a problem that can and should be avoided. We will be extremely disappointed if this advice is ignored.
RSPB South East Conservation Manager.