Take Part in the Selsey Great British Beach Clean

Pick up a free Against Litter campaign bottle at the event!

 

Get involved in the Great British Beach Clean Saturday 15th September, where we will be working with the Mulberry Divers to clear Selsey beach and the surrounding area of loose litter, from 12pm to 2pm, followed by a free BBQ to thank volunteers, generously provided by the Selsey & District Lions Club!

Community Wildlife Officer, Sarah Hughes, will lead the day as part of Chichester District Council’s Against Litter campaign. The campaign supports local volunteers who regularly clear plastic and other waste which can be harmful to wildlife, from the local area, keeping the district clean and safe for people to enjoy!

We will provide all equipment and training on the day – just wear comfortable shoes and join us at the East Beach green, adjacent to East Beach Car Park, Beach Road, Selsey, PO20 0SZ, to take part.

For more information, get in touch with Sarah at shughes@chichester.gov.uk or call 07765175494.

Posted in _Blogs, _News, Notices | Comments Off on Take Part in the Selsey Great British Beach Clean

The Selsey Photo Archive Project

Selsey Lifeboat Crew, 1930's.

Selsey Lifeboat Crew, 1930’s.

Selsey Town Council wins National Lottery support for new Selsey Photo Archive Project.

 

Selsey Town Council has received a National Lottery grant of £9,900 for an exciting heritage project to preserve and make accessible a significant collection of photographs, which document Selsey’s history. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will focus on creating a dedicated website as an invaluable photographic resource for everyone.

 

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the project will bring together volunteers from the community with members of the Manhood Wildlife & Heritage Group, former members of Selsey Society, Selsey Town Council and expert staff from the West Sussex Record Office to catalogue the images, scan the best and create a website. Full training for volunteers will be provided by the Records Office staff.

 

The Selsey Society, which dissolved in 2015, collected a wide-ranging collection of 4000 photographs, postcards and other artefacts. The collection has images dating from the 19th century to the present day and covers significant topics unique to Selsey and rare in Sussex, such as lifeboats, coastal erosion, fishing industry, railway carriage homes, the Selsey Tram light railway, caravan and holiday parks. All parts of the town are covered. The collection, for its safe-keeping, is to be transferred to the West Sussex Record Office in Chichester. This project aims to ensure it is easily available for local people to use while also ensuring the long-term preservation of the originals.

 

Commenting on the award, Cllr Mike Beal, Chairman of Selsey Town Council said, “We are delighted that this worthwhile project can go forward thanks to National Lottery players, meaning that all these important visual images of Selsey’s past will be available to the town’s current and future residents for years to come.”

 

Anyone who is interested in volunteering for this fascinating and rewarding project should contact Selsey Town Council on 01243 605803 or email: enquries@selseytowncouncil.gov.uk or email the Project Co-ordinator at chairmt@mwhg.org.uk

Posted in _Blogs, _News, Heritage, Notices | Comments Off on The Selsey Photo Archive Project

MWHG Photo Competition: Our Winners!

Our five judges convened on the 15th August to decide on the winners of our 20th Anniversary Photo Competition. We were hoping that, in holding the competition, people would go out and capture images that would help us celebrate the wonderful wildlife, landscape and heritage of the Manhood Peninsula- we were not disappointed. In the end we had a very good response to our competition, so thank you to all who entered, and the judges had some very worthy images to choose between.

The judges were asked to select a winner for each of the four categories (wildlife, landscape, heritage and an under-16 category entitled ‘my local nature’), along with an overall winner across all the categories. We are delighted to reveal the winning photos and name our Top 20 Photos list, here. We will be displaying the top 20 photos, including the winners, at local venues over the coming months. Well done to all our winners for helping to show what a beautiful and diverse place our local Peninsula can be.

 

Winner of Landscape Category and Overall Winner

“Sunset over East Head” by Heather Brooks

“Sunset over East Head” by Heather Brooks

 

As her reason for choosing this picture to submit, our winning photographer Heather comments “My 2x great grandfather, Nathaniel Moore was born in 1837 in a cottage located on Snowhill, the remains of which are still visible today. This is practically the same view he would have seen growing up with his family nearly two hundred years ago”.

The judges commented that Heather’s photo was “beautifully executed and a lovely picture”.

 

Wildlife Category Winner

“Little Egret fishing on a crisp December morning” by Mary Patterson

“Little Egret fishing on a crisp December morning” by Mary Patterson

 

Commenting on her picture, Mary says “As an amateur wildlife photographer, I usually take my best photos in my local areas. I wanted to show some colour and behaviour of the bird that would draw the viewer into the scene. Little egrets are elegant birds and ever so sharp with their eyes to spot a fish. I felt this photo showed all the elements for an engaging contest entry.”

The judges said that Mary’s photo had “good colour and exudes peace and tranquillity” and also that the image shows a “Little Egret doing what it does best”.

 

Heritage Category Winner

“Rescue Sight” by Gemma Hinton

“Rescue Sight” by Gemma Hinton

 

Heritage winner Gemma comments, “The reason I chose it is because for me it captures the temporary nature of our coastal heritage – how something like the Lifeboat Station that you grow used to seeing every day can disappear and the whole line of the coast is altered. It also captures a mix of what has formed the heritage of Selsey – the RNLI, the lobster pots symbolising the seafood trade and the old rusty machinery reminding us of the many fishing boats that leave and return to the shores, unnoticed by many, in the early hours, as regular as the sunrise. All of these things also represent man made things used to manage our relationship with the ocean and the lines in the picture remind me of how we try to impose order on an uncontrollable force of nature as the Lifeboat Station stands as a stark warning on the horizon.”

The judges thought that Gemma’s photograph “captures Selsey in a single image”.

 

Under 16 ‘My Local Nature’ Category Winner

“Black Sea Bream” by Sophie Reeve-Foster

“Black Sea Bream” by Sophie Reeve-Foster

 

Sophie reflects on her photo, “this endangered species surprised us while we were scuba diving off selsey coast”.

The judges commented that it was “nice to see an underwater shot”, so thanks to Sophie for reminding us of the important wildlife that lies just offshore, but which is an important part of the environment of our Peninsula.

 

Well done to the following entrants, who complete our Top 20 Photos list. Keep an eye on our website, Facebook and Twitter to see these photos and be notified of upcoming exhibitions, where they will be on display!

 

Heritage Entries

Richard Broadhurst “Pagham Lagoon, February”
Lesley Bromley “St. Mary Sidlesham”

 

Wildlife Entries

Valerie Gatehouse “Orange Tip”
Lesley Bromley “Grey Seal”
Gemma Hinton “Lithe Lizard”
Gordon Richards “Sparowhawk”
Jessica Head “Grey Squirrel in My Garden”
Gavin Langley “Black Swan and Cygnets”
Sue Owen “Mother and Baby Ducks”

 

Landscape Entries

William Brooks “Farmland”
Jocelyn Coates “The Severals”
Richard Broadhurst “North Wall Pagham, February”
Beverley Inscoe “Selsey Bird Perch”
Meryn Woodland “Medmerry”
Jessica Head “West Wittering Beach”
Carole Bath “Another World”

 

Many thanks to our judges, Brian Henham, Ruth Mariner, Roy Newnham, Peter White and Veronica Wilkes, who volunteered their time to decide our winners and Top 20 photos, you did a great job!


Post by Rebecca

Posted in _Blogs, _News, Notices | Comments Off on MWHG Photo Competition: Our Winners!

Job Opportunity: FLOW Communications and Engagement Officer

FLOW – Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands Communications and Engagement Officer [Heritage Lottery Funded]

 

£22,500 pa
pro rata for 2 days a week
Fixed Term contract to the end of December 2020

 
Based: Selsey office/home-working
Closing date: Friday 21st September
Start date: As soon as possible

 
The Manhood Wildlife & Heritage Group is a registered charity, run by volunteers, which has been working to improve the environment of the Manhood Peninsula [south of Chichester] since 1997 – presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2010.

 
FLOW is an HLF funded Project to survey, primarily, the ditch and hedgerow networks of the Manhood Peninsula, then to plan and make improvements, in terms of wildlife value and sustainable water management. It is intended that much of the work will be carried out by volunteers and the successful applicant will have a vital role in recruiting volunteers and engaging the wider community more generally in project activities. They will also be responsible for publicising and promoting the project, as well as reporting on progress with it.

 
This is an exciting opportunity to work within a small friendly team, for a volunteer-led, local charity, to make a real difference to the wildlife, people and landscape of a special place in West Sussex.

 
Click the links below for a full job description and an application form.

 

View Job Description

 
Download Application Form

 

Posted in _Blogs, _News, FLOW Project, Notices | Comments Off on Job Opportunity: FLOW Communications and Engagement Officer

FLOW E-Bulletin July 2018

We have been very busy with surveying over the Spring and Summer – looking at ditches and hedges in Sidlesham and recording lots of species at different sites across the area. It is always fun to explore a new location and to see what we find.

This Heritage Lottery Funded Project is focused on assessing the many ditches and waterways on the Manhood Peninsula to see how this network of wetland habitat is linked, identify areas of improvement for drainage and habitat improvement, and to highlight the benefits of well-managed ditches for people and wildlife.

 

 

 

FLOW – Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands

This Heritage Lottery Funded Project is focussed on assessing the many ditches and waterways on the Manhood Peninsula to see how this network of wetland habitat is linked, identify areas of improvement for drainage and habitat improvement, and to highlight the benefits of well-managed ditches for people and wildlife.

 

Welcome to our July 2018 e-bulletin

 

Read the pdf version of this e-bulletin

This is our second edition of the FLOW e-bulletin in 2018 and it will up-date you on progress of the project. If you don’t already, you can keep in the loop by checking the blog and by following us on Facebook and Twitter, where we regularly announce events and post pictures of our surveys and work parties in action.

 

Thanks

A big THANK YOU to some particularly hard-working volunteers who have marched their way across Sidlesham Parish, collecting data about ditches and hedges. Also, thanks to Sarah Hughes at CDC who had helped with a couple of council related issues.

 

What have the FLOW team been up to?

It’s been a busy few months as FLOW staff and volunteers have tackled ditch surveys and conservation tasks across Sidlesham Parish. Due to this fantastic effort, the Sidlesham phase of the project is nearing completion. The surveys we carry out enable us to identify the opportunities for habitat improvement over the coming winter and also monitor progress on sites we have already worked on.

 

Welcome to our new FLOW volunteers. We would also like to thank the students and staff members from Seaford College who helped out tree tagging at West Itchenor Pond.

 

During the Spring and Summer there is a group of volunteers that works hard to carry out moth trapping every Saturday morning at sites across the peninsula. This is in part a response to an ecological consultant in 2011 at a Public Inquiry that called the MP a wildlife desert. So, we have made it our mission to get species records for every grid square on the peninsula – if you want a moth trap set up in your garden = let us know! Rosy Footman (Miltochrista miniata) brilliant photo by Brian Henham

Manor Green Park BioBlitz We carried out a BioBlitz at Manor Green Park in Selsey in June, supported by the Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre who delivered iRecord training for us. We surveyed plants, butterflies, moths, other insects, reptiles, birds and mammals. We had a great day engaging with local residents, MWHG volunteers, RSPB volunteers, and the local nursery onsite who came to look at the moths. We recorded 110 species.

 

Statistics for Sidlesham

Number of Fieldwork days 90+
Volunteers that have helped out Again, we have had great help from Ian, Max,
Sian, Chris B and Alex.
Length of ditches surveyed 15+miles
Approximate % ditch coverage of the parish 90%
How many ditches surveyed by volunteers? 500+
Number of hedgerows surveyed 100+
Length of hedgerows surveyed 9000+ metres (5.6miles)
Number of landowner’s land surveyed 34
Number of Ash tree records to date 100+

 

Species Surveying

Field Officer Chris Drake reports on FLOW’s Species Surveying 2017/18

 

2017 Survey Results

In 2017 we surveyed four sites to find a representation of base line of data. This will help us determine how we do our habitat improvement work in the winter. Our 4 sites are Hilton Business Park, Cakeham Manor, Hale Farm and West Itchenor during May, June, July, August. The weather conditions during the survey period were sometimes challenging, wind and cool temperatures have not favoured the surveying. Here are some of the results from last year.

West Itchenor Number Of Survey Days Number and name of species recorded Total Species
Butterflies 8 23 Speckled Wood, 18 Meadow Brown, 4 Red Admiral, 2
Comma, 4 Large White, 7 Small White, 6 Green-Veined, 1
Painted Lady and 3 Gate Keeper.
68
Birds 5 32 Black Bird, 6 Black Cap, 2 Black Headed Gull, 19 Blue
Tit, 8 Great Tit, 2 Green Finch, 5 Buzzard, 11 Carrion Crow,
8 Chiff Chaff, 7 Chaffinch, 7 Collard Dove, 9 Dunnock, 3
Gold Crest, 15 Gold Finch, 1 Great Spotted Wood Pecker,
4 Green Wood Pecker, 5 Jack Daw, 2 Kestral, 3 Long
Tailed Tit, 5 Magpie, 2 Moorhen 9 Robin, 5 Song Thrush,
10 House Sparrow, 4 Swallow, 21 Wren, 20 House Martin,
1 Tree Creeper, 1 Nut Hutch, 1 Mallard, 1 Pheasant, and
1Skylark
230
Reptiles/ Amphibians 6 15 Common Frog (Young) 15
Mammals 6 2 Field Vole (Adult) 2
Bats 6 Common Pipistrelle Bat 6 passes, Soprano Pipistrelle 15
passes
21 passes

Summary

The West Itchenor site is known for its good population of Speckled Wood Butterfly. In winter 2016/17 MWHG and the local group opened small sections of woodland. This really helps this species flourish through a mixture of shade and sun across the site.

This is home to a good population of Wood Peckers. Both green’s and Great Spots seem to take refuge in the area’s of standing dead wood. MWHG and the local group have made sure that these trees are left standing. During the summer period we deployed 3 reptile tins to attract Amphibian and Reptiles. Small common frogs and Field Voles have been recorded during 2017. No Grass Snakes or Newts to date. We have also been recording the bat activity around the site. Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle and been recorded on 2 surveys. Most of the bats where recorded over the water.

Species Surveying 2018 so far

May, June, July 2018 our staff and volunteers have been working hard surveying on a large number of sites. Cakeham Manor, West Itchenor, Tile Barn Lane, Hale Farm, Hilton Business Park, Hunston Pond and Birdham Pond. Sunny warm conditions have made surveying fairly rewarding this year so far.

West Itchenor 

Amazingly this year we have recorded 67 butterflies, which contain 10 varied species. Speckled Wood, Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Gate Keeper, Meadow Brown, Green-Veined and Holly Blue. We think the increase in butterflies recorded over a brief period was down to the good weather and habitat suitability.

Equally we have conducted 1 bird survey and have recorded 48 birds which include 17 varied species. Chiff chaff, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Black Bird, Black Cap, Wren, Robin, Great Spotted Wood Pecker, Great Tit, Green Wood Pecker, Wren, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Jack Daw, House Martin and Kestrel.

We have also deployed reptile tins in a grassier location to try and locate Grass Snake. July this year a student from Seaford College found our 1st recorded Grass Snake for this site.

Recording Wildlife Species

It is extremely important that everyone records the wildlife that they see as this information is very valuable. Frequently we are told that a species does not live in an area or habitat as there are no records for it when in fact, no surveys have taken place or records submitted. The birds and insects that you see in your gardens or out and about on walks are all important to record – even those you think are common such as Starlings and House Sparrows. This data can be put on iRecord via the Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre website or the MWHG website. This information can then be used to ensure that habitats and sensitive species are taken into consideration during planning decisions.

Sidlesham Parish Information Session

There will be a short presentation about FLOW and the wildlife in the parish. Then there will be an opportunity to look at maps we have created of other parishes, and to collate information about Sidlesham that participants can offer.

Thursday, 9th August 2018 6:00pm – 8:00pm midday St Mary’s Church Hall, Church Farm Lane, Sidlesham

Next up, surveying in Selsey and Hunston Parishes….we need more help! As we come to the end of surveying in Sidlesham we are looking forward to Selsey and Hunston parishes. We would love some help so please keep an eye on our website calendar and social media for an updated work schedule. We are also looking at the winter physical work programme carry out improvements on many sites. Very exciting, lots of fun and lots of cake to eat!

Please email Jane jane@jssj.co.uk or Rebecca
hello@mwhg.org.uk if you would like to get involved.

 

Getting Involved – Current Opportunities

Fieldwork – We have lots of opportunities for volunteers to help with fieldwork – including hundreds of ditch assessments to do and would like to extend this work to pond dipping and botanical surveys. We also have fields and lanes full of hedgerows to note. Full training given.

Events and promotion – With the summer having started we are getting out there and engaging the public at village fetes and events. We’ll would love some volunteer support and so if you’re as proud of the work MWHG does as we are, then please contact Rebecca to discuss how you could help out.

Data input – we have not used any volunteers for this yet as have been ensuring that the spreadsheet is easy to update and can be used for GIS and mapping. For the next phase of the project we would be pleased to have help with this area, training will be given, and eventually we may be able to offer a place for volunteers to enter data.

Mink monitoring co-ordinator – Jane is looking for a volunteer to help collate mink data and input into spreadsheet. This valuable role will take no more than an hour per week so please don’t hesitate to contact Jane for a chat if you want to find out more.

Please do contact Jane or Rebecca if you would like to get involved in our work
jane@jssj.co.uk or hello@mwhg.org.uk

Grass Snake recorded by Seaford College Students at West Itchenor

Grass Snake recorded by Seaford College Students at West Itchenor

Please let us know what you think of our e-bulletin by emailing jane@jssj.co.uk

Posted in _Blogs, _News, FLOW Project | Comments Off on FLOW E-Bulletin July 2018

Selsey 1918 to 2018 – Fishing and Tourism Exhibition

As part of Selsey Festival, we will be exhibiting historical pieces from 100 years of our local fishing and tourism industry, at the Selsey Town Council Exhibition Hall, from July 31st to August 10th.

 

Selsey Lifeboat Pier

Selsey Lifeboat Pier

Selsey Fishing Huts

Selsey Fishing Huts

 

Open everyday (except Sunday August 5th) from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, the exhibition will show how modern technology has transformed the work of Selsey’s fisherman, alongside stories of the popular tourist attractions of the beach and surrounding area, including donkey rides, the railway carriages and Pontins holiday camp.

 

There are fun prizes to be won in our “snap and share your favourite exhibition” raffle and heritage quiz, so be sure to visit and enter!

 

Follow our Facebook and Twitter pages, to see updates from the exhibition.
 
Selsey Tourism Postcard

Selsey Tourism Postcard


The Selsey 1918 to 2018 Fishing and Tourism Exhibition has been curated by Dr Lesley Bromley

Posted in _Blogs, _News, Notices | Comments Off on Selsey 1918 to 2018 – Fishing and Tourism Exhibition

MWHG 20th Anniversary Photo Competition

Kingfisher ©Brian Henham

©Brian Henham

 

To celebrate 20 Years of The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group, we are hosting a photographic competition to capture the best of our wonderful Peninsula!

 

The competition will be open to receiving photo entries from July 16th to August 12th

 

There are 4 themed categories in total, and entrants can send in up to one photo per category, for their age range. Photos must capture wildlife, heritage, or a landscape of the Manhood Peninsula and be taken on the Manhood Peninsula*

*This includes, Birdham, Bracklesham, Earnley, East Itchenor, East Wittering, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Itchenor, West Wittering. 

 

  • Wildlife Category (16+ years)
  • Heritage Category (16+ years)
  • Landscape Category (16+ years)
  • Your Local Nature Category (Under 16’s age group, includes photos of wildlife, landscapes or plants)

5 winners will be chosen in total. An overall winner will be selected for the best photo received across all categories and a winner of each category will be chosen as runners up. Up to 20 photos will be selected to be shown in exhibitions, alongside the 5 winning photos.

 

Prizes to be awarded:

Overall winner: £100 cash prize

Each category winner: £50 cash prize

 

The winners will be announced on the week of the 20th August

 

How to enter:

Photo entries can be uploaded through the competition form, below. Entries can also be tweeted to us on our Twitter page or posted onto our Facebook page. Entries entered via social media must name the category being entered and include the hashtag #MWHG20, to be counted.

Entry to the competition is subject to the following Terms and Conditions*
  • Entry is free and open to all
  • Each entrant may enter one image per category in the competition (if multiple photos are received from an individual in one category, the first photo will be entered only).
  • Entries should be in digital format and may be in portrait or landscape format.
  • Entries must be .jpg files of no more than 25 MB (Mega Bytes) in size.
  • Photographs can be entered on our website’s competition page. Please include your name and contact details. Files should be given a title. Your details will not be passed on to any third party.
  • Entries can also be tweeted to our Twitter page or posted on our Facebook page, including the hashtag #MWHG20. Winners will need to be available to be contacted, via the social media platform they entered their photo, for full contact details during the week starting August 13th.
  • We reserve the right to use your entry for publicity purposes, in our written material and on our online platforms, for up to five years from the opening date of the competition. You will be notified if your photo is due to be shown in an exhibition.
  • All photographs submitted must be the work of the individual who submits them, otherwise entrants must ensure that photographs do not infringe the copyright of any third party.
  • All images must be taken on the Manhood Peninsula and entrants must be able to indicate where it was taken. Images of wildlife must be taken in their natural environment or habitat.  Images of wildlife taken in captivity, domesticated or restrained in any way will not be eligible, neither will images of species that have been artificially cultivated or reared.
  • The welfare of the wildlife subject of any photograph is of great importance – entries that show evidence of undue disturbance or stress caused by the photographer will be disqualified. Please take care to avoid damage to the environment in the process of your photography.
  • Digital adjustments to photos are not acceptable.
  • Judges appointed by the MWHG, but who will be selected for impartial representation, will choose the winners who will be notified and a list of the winning entries will be shared on the MWHG website and social media pages. The decision of the MWHG on all matters relating to the Competition is final and no correspondence may be entered into.
  • All entries are sent at the photographer’s risk. MWHG regret they cannot accept liability for any loss or damage of any images entered into the Competition.
  • The opening date is the 16th July. The Closing date is the 12th August. Entries received before or after this date will not be counted.

This Competition is Now Closed

Posted in _News, Notices | Comments Off on MWHG 20th Anniversary Photo Competition

Spring/ Summer Newsletter Now Available

Read about the FLOW Project’s progress, an interview with our newest Trustee and the celebration of 100 SWALKs, in the Spring/ Summer Newsletter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Posted in _Blogs, _News, Notices | Comments Off on Spring/ Summer Newsletter Now Available

Health Risk Notice: Brown-tail Moth Prevalence

Brown-tail tussock moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea)

Brown-tail tussock moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea)

Be aware that caterpillars of the Brown-tail moth are active in the area. These caterpillars may pose a risk to human health.

 

The caterpillars are dark brown in colour with a white stripe down both sides of the body. They have two raised orange/red tufts to the rear of their body and are covered in hairs. In July the adult female moth, which is white with a brown hairy abdomen, lays her eggs and protects them with hairs combed from her abdomen. In the spring these visible web-like tents can be seen on the host plants. The caterpillars feed on a wide range of plants which include Bramble, Dog rose and Blackthorn.

Brown-tail tussock moth caterpillars (Euproctis chrysorrhoea)

Brown-tail tussock moth caterpillars

 

The caterpillars are considered a risk to human health when the hairs, which are spiked and barbed, are shed and come into contact with exposed parts of the body. This may result in an irritating rash or if the hairs are inhaled can cause respiratory problems. Anyone suffering an allergic reaction as a result of coming into contact with these caterpillars should seek medical advice.

 

For advice on the control of the caterpillars and nests contact your local Environmental Health Officer.


Post by Dave Haldane

Posted in _Blogs, _News, Notices, Wildlife and Habitats | Comments Off on Health Risk Notice: Brown-tail Moth Prevalence

Blitzed! Over 100 Species Recorded at Manor Green Park

Last Wednesday MWHG staff and volunteers gathered at Manor Green Park, adjacent to the Selsey Centre, to discover and record the wildlife on this popular community site. A grand total of 109 species were recorded! A lot of work went in beforehand to plan the species recording, including setting moth traps in local gardens and positioning reptile tins and live mammal traps. Despite it being a weekday, we hoped that there would be interest from the public and visiting volunteers to come along a see what was happening, and we set up information displays outside the centre and a discovery trail around the site. A key draw for the day was the involvement of the Sussex Biological Records Centre (SBRC), who sent a representative down to help train volunteers and visitors on iRecord. Using iRecord is an important way to submit your records to a central database where they can be verified by experts. It’s a great way to track changes species distribution, record rarities and ensure that there is a bank of biological information available for sites to highlight their value.

RSPB volunteers browse the displays about MWHG’s work on the peninsula. ©R. O’Dowd

The day dawned still and sunny, perfect for species monitoring, and we kicked off the event by checking the moth traps with the help of RSPB Warden and moth expert Ivan Lang. In total, 22 moth species were recorded. Shortly afterwards, we had an influx of RSPB volunteers who took time out of their Wednesday work party to attend the event, and most of this group walked around the site with MWHG Field Office Chris Drake to check the reptile tins. Although only 1 reptile species was recorded- the slow worm- there were a good number of individuals found under the tins. Shortly after Chris checked the reptile tins, FLOW Project Manager Jane Reeve walked around the site with a small group to check to Longworth mammals traps, and those with her were lucky enough to see a wood mouse and short tailed field vole. Back at the centre, several of the RSPB volunteers also attended iRecord training and thanks are also due to RSPB warden Barry O’Dowd for bringing them along.

Jane releases a short tailed field vole from a Longworth trap. ©R. O’Dowd

FLOW Leader Jane identifies a short tailed field vole ©N.Timney

Lois from SBRC trains RSPB staff and volunteers on how to use iRecord. ©R.O’Dowd

As the day started to heat up, it was time to head into the patches of meadow and scour the hedgerows for invertebrates and we were lucky to have the expertise and enthusiasm of entomologist Dr Alison Barker. Thanks to Alison’s efforts, with help from Sarah Hughes, Chris Drake and Felicity McStea, 8 butterfly species were recorded, 9 species of hymenoptera (bees) and a further 13 species of invertebrate, including various true-bugs, crustaceans, molluscs, orthopterans (crickets and grasshoppers), a beetle and a dragonfly. The invertebrate highlight was an Essex Skipper (Butterfly) which has no previous Selsey record! In the meadows, Felicity and Sarah in particular, did a brilliant job in identifying 74 species of plant.

Small Magpie Moth from a live trap ©N.Timney

Although the midweek footfall was quiet in the park, we met some very enthusiastic locals and several parents stopped to take part in activities with their children, including barn owl pellet dissecting. Towards the end of the day, the adjacent nursery brought over three groups of children to look at the moths collected in our live traps. Overall it was a successful bioblitz, blessed by beautiful weather, during which we collected many valuable records to highlight the wildlife using the site, much of which is often hidden, but is all around us! Many thanks to MWHG staff and volunteers for all their efforts on the day.

We’ll be holding mini bioblitzes on 2nd and 3rd of July at two sites in Sidlesham and would welcome your help and enthusiasm. It’s a great opportunity to help us discover and appreciate our local wildlife and also brush up on your ID skills. If you’d like more information on joining either of these events please contact FLOW Project Leader Jane for more information at jane@jssj.co.uk.


Post by Rebecca O’Dowd

Posted in _Blogs, _News, Wildlife and Habitats | Comments Off on Blitzed! Over 100 Species Recorded at Manor Green Park