One of the frustrations we have faced over the past several years’ of campaigning to #SaveLodgeHill is communicating what the site is like. No amount of quoting the findings of survey reports can replace actually visiting the site. The scale and complexity of it are hard to conceive without being able to wander around it for a day or so, despite the availability of aerial photographs. Unfortunately, the site is not open to the public, and only parts of it are visible from public rights-of-way. Media coverage of the site has by default shown these areas – images of derelict buildings, chain-link fencing and ‘Keep Out’ signs.
There is much more to the site than this, however, and most of it is a rich mosaic of grasslands, scrub and woodland. Even those parts that remain from the use of the area for military training are being taken over by nature – the disused and derelict buildings support bat roosts, and rubble piles are home to reptiles.
In November 2016, with the permission of the site’s owners, the RSPB and Kent Wildlife Trust visited Lodge Hill. Photos from that trip are below. More photos can be seen on the RSPB’s blog.
Hopefully, these photos will give you a better idea of what we’re trying to save. What you can do to help can be found HERE.