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 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.


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.



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.
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
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
21 passes


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

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