New Part-Time Job Opportunity: Community Conservation Officer

Community Conservation Officer – Part time

See this job on environmentjob.co.uk

£24,000 per annum – pro rata for 2 days a week
Fixed term contract of 12 months
Based in our Selsey Office + home working
To start as soon as possible
Project Area – selected parishes on the Manhood Peninsula

The closing date: Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Project Outline

This project, which is funded by the Postcode Local Trust, is to encourage people from across the Manhood Peninsula to participate in wildlife conservation activities and to help them set up groups to manage local sites, which have value for wildlife. Support will be provided through training in practical conservation techniques, Health & Safety, habitat and species surveying and by providing a pool of tools and equipment.

Supporting and empowering local communities to take ownership of their environment, we believe, is a sustainable model for managing local wildlife sites.

Role Description

The Community Conservation Officer will recruit, induct and mentor local people and help establish community groups to run conservation activities, in order to care for selected wildlife sites. They will organise and lead working parties and training events, create volunteer focused training materials and promote Health and Safety. Additionally, they will create publicity and promote and publicise the work of the Manhood Wildlife & Heritage Group generally.

We are looking for people who ideally have the following:

  • Experience of recruiting and supporting volunteers
  • Experience of organising and leading volunteers in practical conservation tasks
  • Experience of giving talks and presentations
  • Knowledge of the project area – ie. local knowledge
  • Good organisational skills generally
  • The ability to communicate effectively both in writing and verbally
  • Understanding of the H&S requirements of running volunteer work days and knowledge of how to carry out risk assessments
  • A general knowledge of how to create and enhance wildlife habitats

Apply for the role of Community Conservation Officer via environmentjob.co.uk or the form below. Include a cover letter and your CV.

Application Form: Community Conservation Officer

Contact Details

Details collected via this form will only be used for administrative purposes regarding applications for the 'Community Conservation Officer' role. Unsuccessful applications will not be retained after the recruitment process is complete.
Word documents or PDF's accepted
Word documents or PDF's accepted

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Haydons Pond Story

FLOW Project leader, Jane, talks us through a photo diary of changes made to Haydons Pond, in Almodington.

This relic pond was identified for improvement during the ditch surveys of Earnley parish. This thick willow copse hid an old dried up pond that could be seen on 1846 tithe maps and which can help to create, with management, wetland habitat for wildlife. Before any work took place, the site was surveyed for water voles and bats. Trees were marked where they had bat features, and these will be left or only gently lifted, avoiding any holes, cracks or splits.

21 November 2018

This relic pond was covered in large mature willow that had fallen and regrown and has bramble growing all through it. These were the plant species that dominated. There are mature oaks to one side of the pond that will be left. The area to the side of the pond was cleared so that the tree surgeons will have somewhere to park and work from.

This relic pond was covered in large mature willow that had fallen and regrown and has bramble growing all through it. These were the plant species that dominated. There are mature oaks to one side of the pond that will be left. The area to the side of the pond was cleared so that the tree surgeons will have somewhere to park and work from.

4-7 December 2018

Tree surgeons went in and took out some of the mature willows and lowered the height of some of those remaining. They targeted the willows hanging over the road and a couple in the pond itself. A fringe of blackthorn was kept along the front as a margin and a couple of stands of hazel were left at the back. The pond is now full of water therefore will not be dug out until it dries out again.

Tree surgeons went in and took out some of the mature willows and lowered the height of some of those remaining. They targeted the willows hanging over the road and a couple in the pond itself. A fringe of blackthorn was kept along the front as a margin and a couple of stands of hazel were left at the back. The pond is now full of water therefore will not be dug out until it dries out again.

12 December 2018

Picked up all the debris and dead wood left on site by the tree surgeons, raked up the debris out of the water and had a fire to get rid of some of the brash. Created a line of dead material ready to rot down and provide a good basis for a new hedge. Tidied up and build up the dead hedge adjacent to the site

Picked up all the debris and dead wood left on site by the tree surgeons, raked up the debris out of the
water and had a fire to get rid of some of the brash. Created a line of dead material ready to rot down and
provide a good basis for a new hedge. Tidied up and built up the dead hedge adjacent to the site.

Work for 2019

A contractor will be engaged to dig out this pond and to create some deep areas where water will be held for longer. This site will be monitored to keep an eye on water levels and where possible wetland plants will be added to increase the range of species colonising this site. Species surveys over the spring and summer will also be carried out and once the digging work is done, coir rolls will also be installed.


Post by Jane Reeve

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Autumn/ Winter Newsletter 2018

Read our new Autumn Winter Newsletter, packed with updates from our projects and stories from our members. Leader of the East Beach Pond Group, Dave, recounts this years difficulties of balancing flood prevention around the pond, whilst conserving areas with important wildflower species. Sarah Hughes gives us her big, bi-annual update for Against Litter and Green Dog Walkers, among other campaigns. This publication also includes local Heritage news, an introduction to our new Communications and Engagement Officer, photos from our 20th Anniversary event and more!

See all Newsletters.

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Cakeham Manor Story

FLOW Project leader, Jane, talks us through a photo diary of changes made to Cakeham Manor, in West Wittering.

 

The work we are carrying out are the actions that the European Beaver would have carried out in previous centuries on the landscape. Cutting back trees, repurposing them, slowing down water, deepening waterways and widening them, creating open places for new plants to grow, removing vegetation and allowing water to pool. They are much more efficient and subtler than we are about it and their work has shaped our landscape in the past.

This relic stream / ditch and wetland area was identified for improvement during the ditch surveys of West Wittering parish. A dense area of bramble and willow dominated the site with large standards of sycamore which completed overshadowed the waterway. It was felt that this site was a major opportunity for improvement.

12 January 2017

The site was very overgrown with willow, bramble and invasive species introduced by adjacent residents – bamboo and leylandii.

The site was very overgrown with willow, bramble and invasive species introduced by adjacent residents – bamboo and leylandii.

20 January 2017

Volunteers cut back willow over the stream to get rid of shading, created paths to get further into the site and kept the dead material for dead hedging.

Volunteers cut back willow over the stream to get rid of shading, created paths to get further into the site and kept the dead material for dead hedging.

10 February 2017

Volunteers hammered in stakes ready to create a dead hedge and continued to open up the area by removing willow, sycamore saplings and bramble.

Volunteers hammered in stakes ready to create a dead hedge and continued to open up the area by removing willow, sycamore saplings and bramble.

24 February 2017

Continued with the staking, dead hedge creation and removal of invasive species.

21 April 2017

Planted some ferns along the open area of the hedge and along the waters edge where it is going to remain shadier.

Planted some ferns along the open area of the hedge and along the waters edge where it is going to remain shadier.

16 June 2017

Reptile tins put down and species surveying - butterfly, reptile and bird.

Reptile tins put down and species surveying – butterfly, reptile and bird.

26 October 2017

Volunteer cut back fallen trees and talked some of the overgrown vegetation to expose the dead hedge and to remove bramble from the trees.

Volunteers cut back fallen trees and some of the overgrown vegetation to expose the dead hedge and to remove bramble from the trees.

28 October 2017

Work session to continue cutting back willow and sycamore and to push further into the site.

Work session to continue cutting back willow and sycamore and to push further into the site.

17 November 2017

Large log piles created where tree surgeons had worked. Vegetation clearing continued.

Large log piles created where tree surgeons had worked. Vegetation clearing continued.

08 December 2017

Continuation of the dead hedge and vegetation clearing

Continuation of the dead hedge and vegetation clearing

14 December 2017

Digger contractor came in and dug out the stream bed to reove the silt and increase the depth.

Digger contractor came in and dug out the stream bed to remove the silt and increase the depth.

14 February 2018

Wildflower plugs, wetland and shade plants, and seeds planted

Wildflower plugs, wetland and shade plants, and seeds planted

02 March 2018

Stakes and binders put in next to a dead hedge along the pavement fence line to protect the site from litter. New hedge trees also planted to add a mix of species.

Stakes and binders put in next to a dead hedge along the pavement fence line to protect the site from litter. New hedge trees also planted to add a mix of species.

22 March 2018

Coir rolls put on site and wetland plants added to improve biodiversity.

Coir rolls put on site and wetland plants added to improve biodiversity.

21 April 2018

Sycamore seedlings pulled up to prevent their invasion of the site.

Sycamore seedlings pulled up to prevent their invasion of the site.

July 2018

Summer growth with floral species making the most of the increased light.

Summer growth with floral species making the most of the increased light.

10 October 2018

The start of work to just open up the stream again and remove fallen tree branches and to push further along the channel. Water vole seen where never previously recorded

The start of work to just open up the stream again and remove fallen tree branches and to push further along the channel.
Water vole seen where never previously recorded

13 October 2018

Work on the far bank to open up the new hedge area, clear litter, let light onto the banks by the stream and to remove some of the covering bramble.

Work on the far bank to open up the new hedge area, clear litter, let light onto the banks by the stream and to remove some of the covering bramble.

28 October 2018

Opened up the dead hedge and added fresh material. Ensured the new trees had the brambles removed from them and that the water channel remains open.

Opened up the dead hedge and added fresh material. Ensured the new trees had the brambles removed from them and that the water channel remains open.

13 November 2018

Site looking lush and the water running well.

Site looking lush and the water running well.

26 November 2018

Pendulous sedges are starting to spread across the site and provide good bank cover for water voles as well as securing them.

Pendulous sedges are starting to spread across the site and provide good bank cover for water voles as well as securing them.

Work for 2019

We will push into the last sector of the waterway to open it up and add more wetland and shade loving plants.


Post by Jane Reeve

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Selsey Parish Information Session December 6th

The Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands team
invite you to join us for our Selsey Parish Information Session

 

Find out what we are doing in the Parish and why we are surveying
ditches and hedges across the Manhood Peninsula

Enjoy a short presentation about the FLOW project

Look at what we have found in other parishes

Find out how you can get involved

 

Thursday 6th December 2018

6.30pm – 8.00pm

Selsey Town Hall, Main Hall, Selsey

Refreshments provided

 

FLOW is a Heritage Lottery Funded project to carry out a
condition assessment of the wetland network on the Manhood
Peninsula and develop a costed management plan to facilitate
its improvement both for people and for wildlife.

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Tile Barn Lane Story

This relic ditch was identified for improvement during the ditch surveys of East Wittering and Bracklesham parish. This ditch was very overgrown with willows but also had mature oaks and some hazel, hawthorn and blackthorn along its far banks. The ditch itself was large but very shallow and dark with no wetland vegetation present. There had been significant flooding in the road in 2012 / 2013 and we identified potential for this ditch to hold more water and also be opened up so that a greater range of plants would colonise the banks.

Our wetland management work is carried out by our FLOW Project. Read about the FLOW project or see our next work date for this site on our calendar.

 

02 February 2018

Ditch checked for water voles and other species. Identified key trees to protect and areas where deepening would be beneficial.

Ditch checked for water voles and other species. Identified key trees to protect and areas where deepening would be beneficial.

10 February 2018

Stakes and binders were brought onsite and dead and cut material used to create a dead hedge

Stakes and binders were brought onsite and dead / cut material used to create a dead hedge

28 February 2018

Trees cut on the verge side of the bank to get light onto the ditch area. Removal of willow and overhanging branches.

Trees cut on the verge side of the bank to get light onto the ditch area. Removal of willow and overhanging branches.

23 March 2018

Hedge planting of mixed native trees, with rabbit guards and stakes. Dead hedging continued to provide a barrier from the wind.

Hedge planting of mixed native trees, with rabbit guards and stakes. Dead hedging continued to provide a barrier from the wind.

19 April 2018

Species survey to see how the ditch has reacted to the increase in light and the removal of some trees. water seen has an algal bloom on it.

Species survey to see how the ditch has reacted to the increase in light and the removal of some trees. water seen has an algal bloom on it.

17 October 2018

Bramble cutting and undergrowth clearing of the ditch channel to open it up and to get light onto the ditch channel. A fire was set in the base of the ditch to get rid of the small debris and some of the willow growth.

Bramble cutting and undergrowth clearing of the ditch channel to open it up and to get light onto the ditch channel. A fire was set in the base of the ditch to get rid of the small debris and some of the willow growth.

19 October 2018

Bramble cutting and undergrowth clearing of the ditch channel to open it up and to get light onto the ditch channel. A fire was set in the base of the ditch to get rid of the small debris and some of the willow growth.

Tree cutting and clearance to continue the recovery of this large relic ditch

14 November 2018

A contractor has been brought in to dig out this ditch and to create some deep areas where water will be held for longer.

Work for 2019

During early 2019, this site will have dry coir rolls installed and these will be planted with a range of wetland plant species. The water levels will be monitored to see if any further digging or management is required and over the spring and summer species surveying will be continued.

Become a FLOW volunteer or see our next work date for this site on our calendar.


Post by Jane Reeve

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Spinney Pond Story

FLOW Project Leader Jane takes us through the wetland improvements made at Spinney Pond, Bracklesham.

November 2016

This pond was identified during the ditch surveying work of Bracklesham Parish in 2016. We could see on tihe maps that there had been a significant pond here and the area is a flooding hot spot, so we thought it had potential for improvement.

September 2017

A BioBlitz was carried out here to check that there were not any important species that we may have overlooked when carrying out the ditch surveys. None were found, and we were aware how few plant species there were as it was so dark.

20 October 2017

Work with volunteers took place to open up the site, removing brambles, deadwood, nettles and dumped rubbish. We had a bonfire and piled up the dead material to create a dead hedge on the roadside of the pond to act as a barrier.

26 October 2017

The leaning willows can clearly be seen now, and each willow could be graded for its bat potential.

26 February 2018

Willow were surveyed and the trees with bat potential identified. Stephen Bacon, tree surgeon, was brought in to fell the willows.

28 February 2018

This pond took three days to clear of the willows and the wood was cut and stacked onsite as habitat for invertebrates and birds.

19 April 2018

Theft of wood from the site necessitated a temporary fence going up but the metal rods from this fence were then stolen.

04 October 2018

The willow had grown up and it was difficult to see the outline of the pond. The site was dug out by a contractor for deeper areas and a bund put in to hold water during high rainfall, but also to allow the water to flow into the neighbouring rife.

08 October 2018

Some areas of the pond were sealed with clay so that the water could sit in it.

20 October 2018

The one year’s growth of willow was cut away and the willow debris was removed from the pond and piled up on old logs so that it does not regrow.

Spring 2019

The next stage of this pond’s story will be to remove the large willow stumps that keep re-growing. We may have to poison and cover the stumps but in the long run we will leave the dead wood in-situ as a habitat.

We will monitor the pond throughout the winter to see how the water is stored and whether any adjustments need to be made to the bank profiles. We hope to add wetland plants to make this an attractive wetland feature – joined to the water vole habitat of the rife that runs along Bookers Lane.


Post by Jane Reeve

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Shortlisted for the National Biodiversity Network Award

Volunteers looking at small mammals at a BioBlitz with FLOW Team Jane Reeve (far right, foreground) and Chris Drake (far left, foreground).

Volunteers at a BioBlitz event with FLOW Team Jane Reeve (right, foreground) and Chris Drake (left, foreground).

The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group (MWHG) has been selected in the shortlist for the National Biodiversity Network’s (NBN) Lynne Farrell Group Award, for wildlife recording!

Our charity surveys wildlife on the Manhood Peninsula regularly, as we believe that recording our environment and openly sharing this information on a local and national level, is vital to creating a successful conservation strategy.

FLOW Project Leader Jane Reeve, who hosts many surveying events, praised our volunteer’s efforts, “Thank you to everyone who inputs their biological records and adds to the body of data about this area – so important on lots of levels”. The NBN also asked Jane about the importance of wildlife recording and this interview can be read on their website here.

On November 21st there will be an awards ceremony where the MWHG will be up against three other organizations for the main prize in the Lynne Farrell Group Award category.

If you would like to help us collect as much information about the Peninsula as possible, you can download a species recording sheet or upload your wildlife photos and sightings, through our website here. This data is uploaded to iRecord, on your behalf.

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FLOW E-Bulletin October 2018

We are now halfway through the FLOW Project and this is a short summary of what we have achieved since October 2016, the start of the Delivery phase.

FLOW – Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands

Read the pdf version of this e-bulletin

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.

During our physical improvement and habitat and species survey work we have always provided refreshments for volunteers and during 255 of these sessions approximately 450 cakes were consumed!!

Physical Improvement Work

Overgrown Before

After

Number of work sites where physical work has taken place: 42

Number of habitat improvement work sessions: 91

Area improved: 27500m²

Overgrown Before

After

We have worked with 24 landowners to deliver drainage and habitat improvements

163 km of ditches (820 ditches) walked across 4 parishes

30 kilometres of hedgerows surveyed

Grants

Money gained in extra grants: £26,326

Money gained via applications for other flood groups: £23,687

Money gained in non-cash contributions: £12,358.95

Species Recording

Number of species / habitat surveying sessions 147

Mink monitoring visits 203

2403 Species records submitted through iRecord to the Biodiversity Records Centre

24 Community events attended

20 Presentations to different audiences

17 Volunteer training sessions held

Thank you to all our volunteers who have participated in the FLOW project and pushed it forward through a variety of tasks: walking ditches; helping with physical improvement work; getting involved in species and habitat surveying; learning to create maps through GIS and generally offering enthusiasm, energy and good cheer at all times.

Read more about this project and see how you can get involved, too.

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Results of the Great British Beach Clean, Selsey

Volunteers picking litter, East Beach ©Nicola Timney

Volunteers picking litter, East Beach ©Nicola Timney

 

Currently an issue firmly in the public eye, the infiltration of micro-plastics into our ecosystem and the wide-reaching consequences caused by waste from our shores, are a constant reminder of the need to stop littering. This year marks the 25th anniversary that the Marine Conservation Society has highlighted the importance of keeping our sea-side litter free, through the annual Great British Beach Clean.

 

In September, as part of the weekend of litter picking events and in tandem with Chichester District Council’s new Against Litter campaign, Community Wildlife Officer Sarah Hughes organised a clean of the popular East beach, in Selsey. Over forty volunteers attended the session on Saturday 15th, with a trio even travelling to us from Surrey, after spotting our event on the beach clean list! Small groups were each allocated a 10 metre stretch of the beach to clean, with a total of 200 metres of sea-side covered on the day. Participants were also given a survey to complete throughout the task, to record the types of rubbish being collected.

 

Volunteers Jonny, Chloe and Paige from Surrey ©Nicola Timney

Volunteers Jonny, Chloe and Paige from Surrey ©Nicola Timney

 

Surveying is a key aspect of the Great British Beach Clean, because this data is used to influence changes in legislation for the most frequently found types of litter. To date, the micro-bead ban and taxes on single-use bags have been successfully implemented thanks to data contributed by beach cleans. Our volunteers were diligent, picking up fiddley pieces of rubbish, consisting of broken plastic pieces, a few centimetres or less in size, along with a high number of cigarette stubs, which contain hidden plastic themselves. More unusual items found included a metal pole and clipboard clamp, both brought back to shore by the Mulberry Divers taking part in the clean, and fishing hooks hidden amongst the shingle.

 

East Beach is maintained fairly consistently, and some volunteers noted on arrival that the beach seemed well kept. In fact two litter picks had already taken place within the weeks prior and throughout the day of our clean many visitors at the beach expressed that they make litter collecting a regular part of their walks along the coastline. Despite expectations of a low yield, 32.25 kilograms of litter were found by the end of the two-hour session.

 

A summary of our findings is shown below:

Common Items:

 

Cigarette stubs: 194

Plastic pieces <2.5cm: 112

Plastic pieces >2.5cm <50cm : 88

Fishing paraphernalia: 77 items

Plastic and metal caps/ lids: 74

Plastic rope pieces: 68

Plastic and foil food wrappers/ packets: 65

Plastic cutlery / straws: 46

Pieces of glass: 43

Bagged dog faeces: 36

Metal scraps, barbed wire and mesh pieces: 31

Wooden lolly sticks/ chip forks: 30

Cable ties: 13

Plastic shopping bags: 10

Plastic pieces >50cm: 7

Weather and tidal factors will affect the amount of litter dropped or washed up onto a beach every day and our results have shown that even with regular beach cleans, litter is an ever-present fixture of the British coastline for the foreseeable future. To improve the state of our beaches and the ocean, we must use our discovered data to push for the prevention of litter being created in the first instance.

 

Thanks go to the Selsey & District Lions Club, who provided our volunteers with a BBQ to celebrate their fantastic efforts whilst the results of our Great British Beach Clean were contemplated.

 

Community Wildlife Officer, Sarah Hughes [2nd from left] with the Selsey & District Lions Club ©Nicola Timney

 

Details on how to collect data on litter and organize your own beach clean can be found on the Marine Conservation Society’s Website.

 


Post by Nikki

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