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Chance for public to see the rare Little Egret launches RSPB events programme under the airport footprint

The RSPB are putting on a special Heron Open Day in North Kent this Sunday (13th April 2003) where the public are invited to come and see not only the UK`s largest colony of nesting herons, but also the very rare Little Egret which now nests amongst them. [Media wishing to come and see/film the colony in advance of the event should call Adrian Thomas 01273 763610/ 07773 567 396 or Perry Haines 07811 487 819]. The event is totally free, and people can turn up at any time and for as long as they like between 11am and 4pm to see the colony. It is sited in the sanctuary area of the RSPB`s Northward Hill reserve which for the rest of the year is closed to the public. The whole colony, the wood they nest in, and the hill the wood stands on would all be totally bulldozed if the Government`s proposal to put an airport here was to get the go-ahead. About 20% of the entire UK population of Little Egrets breed in the wood.Perry Haines, the RSPB`s No airport at Cliffe campaign co-ordinator, said, The Herons and Egrets have come to stand as symbols for everything we are fighting for here. To be able to see them at their nesting site is a privilege that we hope many people will come to share.Visitors should make their way to High Halstow village, from where blue RSPB signs will lead down the narrow lanes to the Heron car park. There is a short ? mile walk to the viewpoint, where there will be telescopes and RSPB and Campaign Liaison Group volunteers on hand to help show what is going on in the colony. Bring walking shoes and outdoor clothing.The Heron Open Day launches a series of free public events on the RSPB reserves this spring that will give people the chance to see for themselves some of the wildlife that is threatened by the airport proposal.

RSPB Events at Cliffe: Spring 2003All events are free, but booking required on some events. To book or request further information, ring the RSPB Regional Office on 01273 775333

Sunday 13th April, 11am-4pm Heronry Open Day. A chance to see the UK`s largest colony of herons in their treetop nests, together with the very rare and pure white Little Egret in one of its only UK nesting sites - the RSPB`s Northwards Hill reserve. Follow blue signs in High Halstow to our Northward Hill Lower car park. Requires ?-mile walk to viewing pint, where there will be telescopes and helpers to help show you what is going on. Bring sensible footwear and outdoor clothing. Led by RSPB and No airport at Cliffe Campaign Liaison group volunteers. No booking required; turn up any time and for as long as you like.

Sunday 27April, 2-4pm Avocet Afternoon. A chance to see waterbirds on the North Kent Marshes near Cliffe, including the beautiful and rare Avocet. There will be chance to use RSPB telescopes with the help of RSPB warden. Short flat walk required. Bring outdoor clothing. Led by Gordon Allison, RSPB Warden. Booking essentialSaturday 4 May, 10-12noon Making of the Nature Reserve. A guided walk around the RSPB`s Northward Hill reserve near High Halstow, one of the oldest and most varied in the country, and which would be almost totally destroyed if an airport was built here. Bring walking shoes and outdoor clothes. Walk of max 2 miles with some slopes. Led by Alan Parker, RSPB Senior Warden. Booking essential

Wednesday 7 May, 7.30-9.30pm Evening Nightingale Walk. A gentle wander around Northward Hill RSPB woodland near High Halstow listening for spring migrants, and especially to hear the famous song of the Nightingale. 1 mile walk with moderate slopes. Bring warm clothing. Led by Gordon Allison, RSPB Warden Booking essential

Tuesday 13 May, 7.30-9.30 Nightingale Walk. A gentle wander around Northward Hill RSPB woodland near High Halstow listening for spring migrants, and especially to hear the famous song of the Nightingale. 1-mile walk with moderate slopes. Bring warm clothing. Led by Michael Ellison, RSPB Warden Booking essentialWednesday 21 May 7.30-9.30 Nightingale Walk. A gentle wander around Northward Hill RSPB woodland near High Halstow listening for spring migrants, and especially to hear the famous song of the Nightingale. 1 mile walk with moderate slopes. Bring warm clothing. Led by Michael Ellison, RSPB Warden Booking essential

Saturday 14 June 2-4pm Nature Watch from Hope Mound, Cliffe Pools. Hope Mound has been the focus for birdwatchers opposing the Cliffe airport, and the viewing mound gives one of the best views of all the birds on the new RSPB Cliffe Pools reserve. Come along for a guided look at the special birds that come here to breed. Led by Michael Ellison, RSPB Warden Booking essential

Thursday 10 July 2-4pm Dragonfly watch The threatened North Kent marshes not only have important populations of birds, they have some amazing insects too. Come and have a look for dragonflies and damselflies in the ditches and pools. Led by Gordon Allison, RSPB Warden Booking essential

Thursday 14 August 2-4pm Dragonfly watch. The threatened North Kent marshes not only have important populations of birds, they have some amazing insects too. Come and have a look for dragonflies and damselflies in the ditches and pools. Led by Michael Ellison, RSPB Warden Booking essential

4th July 2014