Examples of types of habitats and vegetation on the Manhood coastal plain
Woodland, hedgerows and road verges
Woodland and hedgerows are vital habitats for much of our wildlife. Unfortunately, many have disappeared from our countryside over recent years. Those remaining should be treasured! Road verges have become increasingly important as alternative habitats to intensively farmed fields and many Counties now manage these sympathetically for nature.
Saline lagoons and reed beds
The Severals, just behind the shingle bank on the Selsey side of Pagham Harbour, are good examples of saline lagoons, providing protected nesting sites for waterfowl and swans as well as being home for a strong water vole population.
Rifes ponds and ditches
The Manhood area has many rifes and ditches crossing and bordering the large areas of agricultural land and these can provide a rich habitat for many voles and plant species. Surveying have revealed good populations for bank and water voles in many areas along these channels. Ponds are also very important habitats, not just for amphibians and voles, but many birds and bats depend on the insect life found over open water. Many ponds have fallen into neglect in the past and one of the group’s projects is to resurrect and manage them to reclaim the valuable habitat.
Tidal Mud Flats
Pagham Harbour is a wonderful example of tidal mud flats, providing rich feeding grounds for wading birds, both native and migrant when the tide is out.
Arable land and urban wildlife areas.
With many modern agricultural practices wildlife gets squeezed out of the countryside and into more urban settings. Foxes and Sparrow Hawks are two species seen more and more commonly in our gardens.