Airport claims 'for the birds'

The RSPB says environmental experts have dismissed claims that rare wildlife breeds on the Dungeness peninsula in Kent, such as these Golden Plover, will be safe from nearby airport expansion

Golden Plovers Photograph: Nigel Blake/RSPB Images
Golden Plovers Photograph: Nigel Blake/RSPB Images

The charity says Lydd Airport is using out-of-date data to show specialist lichens, plants and insects would not be harmed by flight pollution resulting from a proposed longer runway and a 100-fold increase in passenger numbers.

Dungeness is the largest shingle site in Europe and includes the RSPB's 2,500-acre Dungeness reserve - home to more than 1,000 different plants, 170 species of lichen and thousands of birds.

Photograph: Nigel Blake/RSPB Images

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