Black Winged Stilts successfully raised on North Kent Farms

From Carol Donaldson, a well known Environmental Consultant and published author, an article that shows how vital North Kent Farms are to the wildlife in the area. Note the reference to Oare Marshes which are right next door to Graveney, Nagden and Cleve Marshes.

I can report that numbers of fledged lapwing chicks from North Kent Farms were up again with redshank and yellow wagtail also doing better.

black winged stilt chicks. Photo Frank Cacket

One pair of chicks in particular caught everyone’s attention. This year a pair of black winged stilts successfully raised two chicks on one of the farms I work on. This is the first time a pair of chicks has fledged outside of a reserve in Britain.

For now we intend to keep the name of the farm and farmers a secret as there is a high chance that the birds will return again and there is a need to keep the site (which is on private land) undisturbed. This lack of disturbance throughout the breeding season was well managed by the farmers and, along with the creation of excellent wetland habitat, was the reason these birds did so well.

Why is this important?

The developers have repeatedly said that the farmland that they propose to industrialise will ultimately benefit from their intervention. But already without their intervention the wildlife is doing quite well thank you very much.

It’s true that the farmer at Nagden, Graveney and Cleve Marshes could do more for wildlife by being more careful and considerate (and yet still make a good crop). But we certainly don’t have to put 1 million solar panels back-to-back, 4 metres high, and the world’s largest battery onto the site to ensure that more black winged stilts, lapwings, redshank, and yellow wagtails continue to thrive.

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