Alex Farm pastures close to Orlestone Forest are leased to Natural England. It is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and its unique and rare wildlife should have had the highest law protection.
Approximately 8 years ago a newly erected wooden gate, to secure the entrance to Alex Farm Pastures, was sawn in half with a chain-saw.
I never entered beyond the gate and had no idea the site was an SSSI. But those in professional nature conservation did, and in their words - "The pastures represent one of the best surviving examples in Kent of unimproved neutral grassland, a nationally rare habitat".
And so the gate hung, swinging in the wind for years, leaving the land beyond vulnerable to off-roading and shooting and it was only a matter of time before it was ruined.
..all it ever needed was a metal gate. Protection against off-roading in Orlestone Forest seems to be a half-hearted concern by the authorities. Signs and metal posts and bollards go up one year, and are down the next.
To the reckless off-roaders who do this damage, I doubt they feel any authority is going to stop them . . . I'm sure they'll be back.
All the site ever need was a metal gate to prevent the trashing of a rare and unique site.
Saturday, 11 May 2013
Monday, 6 May 2013
|Common Terns in the fog and close in-shore at Dungeness this morning..|
|..and Dungeness Old light House nice and sunny this evening|
Back in Shadoxhurst and playing football in the field with son Lewis, we were treated to several aerial displays of Buzzards and Hobbies against a fine blue sky.
After lunch, the Green family, visited Hothfield Common where we all heard and saw a dapper male Lesser Spotted woodpecker. The bird could be heard calling and drumming in the woodland at the west of the common, a reliable place to see this scarce bird this spring.
|Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - white barring on back plus small size, is this the bird my neighbours are seeing and hearing in Shadoxhurst?|
The Day ended with Fish and Chips at Dungeness watching, Gannets, Terns and Porpoises lit by an amber sunset - a great May day.
Posted by Nick Green at 11:11 pm
Sunday, 5 May 2013
Back from a glorious sea watch at Dungeness by 9.30 am, I spent the rest of the day with help from Sian replacing a 6x4 m pond liner. Ocassional sky watching into blue skies on what must easily have been the hottest day of the year, brought some new summer migrant appearances including: 2 Hobbies together (so high I couldn't photograph) and our first Swift. Our local Buzzards kept their heads down for most of the day, but these two put-in an appearance mid-afternoon directly over the garden.
Not an expert on Buzzard ageing, I guess we're looking at a fine and immaculate adult accompanied by a streaky and moulting 2/3 year bird flying below. A shame my pics aren't better, I partly blame the sun which wasn't far away.
|Sub adult Buzzard with heavy spring moult to primaries and fork effect on tail. Same bird above and below.|
|Old liner out and new liner in, just the landscaping and planting to finish tomorrow|
Posted by Nick Green at 9:42 pm
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
|click image to enlarge more|
Posted by Nick Green at 5:14 pm