The Selsey Parish Map Group was established in Selsey, West Sussex, with the aim of mapping the wild plants of the Parish of Selsey and thus to protect its wildlife. The project now covers the entire Manhood peninsula including all its eleven parishes and some parishes beyond. The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group – MWHG was created to run the project.
The Habitat Map
The mapping of Selsey Parish was completed by volunteers in 2000. The results of the vegetation survey were placed on a map which was colour-coded to show the different types of vegetation, such as grassland, woodland and the vegetation of coastal communities according to a set of guidelines produced by the Sussex Wildlife Trust. The map was then digitised and today provides a tool to make it possible to protect the habitats and the species found in the local area. The project was completed in close collaboration with local landowners, other special interest groups, among others the rare plants group, and yet others with good local knowledge.
The Biodiversity Action Plan – BAP
The Selsey Parish Biodiversity Plan was drawn up based on the map. It was the first Parish Biodiversity Action Plan in the UK. It is composed of a series of actions designed to ensure that the proposed local actions translated the already identified national and regional conservation aims into practice to protect the local wildlife and enhance the places where it lives.
The Wildlife Officer
From 2004-2010, the Selsey Wildlife Officer, Sarah Hughes, was appointed to encourage local people to participate in raising awareness of the importance of the local environment and to promote the project by giving presentations, through the media, and to liaise with local authorities, schools, landowners and other groups. Her work involves raising awareness, encouraging, co-ordinating and enthusing a growing band of volunteers, leading tasks, organising training, promoting the project through the media, giving presentations to community groups, liaising with landowners, schools, local authorities and anyone interested in the topics.