Yesterday around 200 people (maybe more) met on Whitehawk Hill to practically demonstrate our opposition to the Council's plans for housing development on the Hill and Nature Reserve by doing urgent conservation work on the threatened part of the Hill.
A recent Council ban on its ranger service working on the part of the statutory Local Nature Reserve threatened by the housing proposal in the draft City Plan has only just been reversed . Supportive local councillor Gill Williams came and addressed our gathering before we commenced work, and councillor Martin Osborne joined in our work.
Friends of Whitehawk Hill spokesperson Dave Bangs said: "Whitehawk Hill has been a sacred place for 5000 years, since the Neolithic first farming people. We won't let it be sacrificed in 2020!"
Volunteers from all across the City, including a grand contingent from Extinction Rebellion, worked to restore a lost path through the Hill's ancient Gorse thicket. By the end of the day the path was back in working order. They also worked on two other wildlife-rich paths, including one that has been - till recent years - the best site on the Hill for the gorgeous and rare Chalkhill Blue butterfly.
Paul Gorringe, our much loved Council ranger, supervised our tasks. Friends of Whitehawk Hill and Extinction Rebellion worked an apple and pear press all day to provide delicious juice, and soup and veggie burgers, and a yurt was erected for display stalls. Our success sends a clear message to the Council that Brighton people love and protect ancient Whitehawk Hill and its rare and wonderful wildlife.