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Adder (c) Jason Steel

Adder (c) Jason Steel

Kent Wildlife Trust welcomes the recognition of Lodge Hill – earmarked as a 5,000 home development site – as a nationally important site for wildlife by Natural England, the Government’s advisor on the natural environment.

On 13th March Natural England, the Government’s advisor on the natural environment, notified Chattenden Woods and Lodge Hill on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

SSSIs comprise some of the country’s best wildlife sites, including our most spectacular, important and beautiful habitats, and Natural England has a duty to designate such areas under national legislation that protects them for future generations.

Chattenden Woods, a large area of ancient woodland and grassland, was originally designated as a SSSI in 1984 under the Wildlife & Countryside Act. More recently, investigations into the adjacent Lodge Hill site as part of proposals for a significant housing development, have highlighted that this area is also very important for the same reasons.

The site supports communities of bats (six species), lizards, grass snakes, adders, slow worms, newts, frogs, toads, badgers and rare insects such as the shrill carder-bee.

It has a significant breeding bird population, most notably nightingales, which were found to be widespread across the proposed development site, and the new SSSI supports at least 1.3% of the national population of this declining species. The new SSSI encompasses the old SSSI and the important areas of Lodge Hill. More

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A talented cadet from Meopham is riding high after her squad was crowned Best UK Team at this year’s Uniformed Services Show Jumping Competition, Woolwich, beating 12 experienced mounted units from the likes of the Military Intelligence, Royal Logistics Corp and Police.

Sophie Green, 14, who attends Gad’s Hill School, Higham won one of four places on the UK Combined Cadet Force (CCF) team, after beating 25 riders from all over the country in a selection competition at the home of the Light Cavalry, Windsor, in early October. More

Staff, pupils and parents from Gad’s Hill are capping off a tremendously successful year in style, when terms such as ‘excellent’ and ‘outstanding’ were used to describe the Higham school in their latest inspection report. The glowing inspection results have come in the same year that Gad’s Hill was named as the country’s top independent by the BBC, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and in the Government’s School League Tables, as well as eighth best school overall when including state schools.

Inspectors who visited the school, which caters for boys and girls aged three to 16, last week (29th-30th November) said the quality of leadership and management at the school – which is led by Headmaster Mr David Craggs – is excellent. The assessors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) also said in their report that “the quality of teaching is good with some excellent features” and that pupils’ overall achievement was ‘good’. The inspection also found that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at the school provides good quality education and care, and the quality of its leadership – run by Head of Kindergarten and Junior School, Ms Fiona McPherson – is outstanding. More

Part of Ropers Lane in Hoo St Werburgh More

Gad’s Hill School’s pupils got a rare opportunity to meet Buddhist monk, Kelsang Wangchuk, from the Jampel Centre, Canterbury and hear his message of love and compassion when he came to visit the School in Higham, Kent. More

The village of Higham, situated between Gravesend and Rochester, is split into two parts known as Upper and Lower Higham. Lower Higham is the original Saxon village More

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