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.
Species data gathering and habitat surveys
From May to August we surveyed 15 sites across the Peninsula.
This also included 5 new sites which need to be dug out. Here is what we saw:
Willow Glen, Sidlesham
Common pipistrelle bats seen flying over the pond. Frequent sightings of red admiral, holly blue, speckled wood, and brimstone butterflies. In the pond, we found elvers, water scorpion, water boatman, pond snails, water shrimps, damson fly, young eels and ramshorn snails. Considering the pond is less than a year old, this variety of species represents good water quality. Some of the birds recorded: yellowhammer, wren, blue tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, goldfinch, and greenfinch.
Triangle Pond, Birdham
Now that the ponds retain more water during the summer months, we’ve seen common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, and noctule bats which were not recorded here last year. Aquatic species seen were freshwater shrimp, common frog, dragonfly larvae, sticklebacks, and lesser water boatmen. Additionally, the new wildflower bank has attracted small white, holly blue, red admiral, speckled wood and painted lady butterflies.
West Itchenor Pond
We found soprano and common pipistrelle bats at this site. The stream itself is a good aquatic habitat with plenty of water boatman and ninespine stickleback. We recorded the following birds: tree creepers, common spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, long-tailed tits, chaffinches, and goldfinches.
Bats frequently seen feeding on insects over the pond. Both soprano and common pipistrelle bats were seen. Inside the pond, we found pond snails and backward swimming water boatman. The water quality in the pond is good.
Easton Lane, Earnley
This site has just been dug out. We found the following pond species- grass snake, slow worm, nine-spine stickleback, diving beetle and leeches. We recorded a variety of birds such as swift, buzzard, yellowhammer, goldfinch and dunnock. The site is also great for pollinators, with mining bees, red-tailed and buff-tailed bumblebees seen as well as painted lady, red admiral, large white and small white butterflies seen.
We have now completed the ditch surveying in Hunston and GIS maps will be created from the data collected which will inform the Hunston Parish Report.
We’ve had at least two volunteers for every ditch survey which has been a brilliant help. We have completed 25% of the parish and identified 5 sites for improvement.
What’s next for the winter season of 2019–2020?
North Mundham Relic Canal
Improvement works have already started on the old Arundel-Chichester canal as volunteers removed overgrown vegetation and a digging contractor excavated a section of the canal to create a deeper pool habitat for wildlife.
Thank you to all volunteers who have helped us on this site already!
This winter, we will clear more brambles and remove the shading limbs of larger trees. All dead material will be used to create a dead-hedge and we will sow wildflower and fruiting trees.
As well as our familiar locations, we have some NEW sites this season:
- Easton Lane, Earnley
- Somerley Lane, Earnley
- Rymans, Apuldram
- Hunston Manor Moat
- Foxbridge Drive, Hunston
- Camic Pond, South Mundham
Community and Outreach Events
We have attended lots of local events this summer to raise awareness of FLOW and to recruit new volunteers. We cannot run these events without the help of our volunteers who are always smiling and help with children’s activities, talking to the public, setting up stalls… Thank you to everyone who helped at an event this summer!
For more information about FLOW please go to www.mwhg.org.uk/projects-and-groups/flow-project/
or find us on Facebook and Twitter @mwhgpage
If you would like to get involved, please email our Communications and Engagement Officer at email@example.com
We welcome your feedback – please let us know what you think of our e-bulletin by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org