We are working with Bird Wise East Kent to develop a set of proposals to help reduce disturbance to wildlife at Long Rock and we want to know what you think about the plans.
Long Rock is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI), Ramsar site and Special Protected Area (SPA) which is of significant international importance for the wildlife that is present there, particularly wintering roosting and feeding birds and summer nesting birds. Both of these bird populations have suffered a significant decline at Long Rock over the past 30 years.
Long Rock is an open area where people have access to the whole site, which leaves little to no room for wintering birds to gain enough energy for migration. Dogs walking off the lead can cause the biggest impact as the birds think they are predators.
We are proposing to:
reroute the path closest to the shingle beach to maximise the habitat availability for birds and reduce how close people and dogs can get to sensitive wildlife
fence off the rerouted path so the sensitive habitats and species are not disturbed
resurface and fence the central path with a permeable substrate to improve accessibility and make it wide enough (nine metres in total) for users to easily pass each other
create a wet barrier, in the form of a ditch, to prevent bird disturbance and to create a habitat for water voles
install a bird screen and a hard surfaced platform where people can view the wildlife and watch migrating and wintering birds arrive and leave