The Friends of Betteshanger are a group of local people that first came together in 2020 to try and protect wildlife, threatened with development, at the old pit head site of the now defunct Betteshanger coal mine, which closed down in the late 1980’s. The site had been largely rewilding since then and was full of wildlife.

Despite this, and despite huge opposition and efforts on our part, Dover District Council saw fit to grant planning permission for over 200 houses on the site. Work will begin soon and a wonderful piece of habitat will be wrecked, along with all the species that depend on it.

Now it is happening all over again. The same developer is seeking planning permission to build a luxury 120 bed Hotel and a full-sized surfing lagoon on Betteshanger Country Park. This is the old spoil tip of the Betteshanger coal mine, so important for wildlife that, when the Park was first set up, Dover District Council was legally obliged to designate a Local Nature Reserve there. It never happened so now we have the situation where one of the most important, undesignated sites for biodiversity in the whole of the Dover district, is threatened with development.

Again, we will stand up for wildlife and be its voice. At a time when nature is in crisis as never before we feel we have no choice.