News

F Is for Fir: But What Is That?

May 5th, 2021 by Nikki

Both fir and pine trees are conifers, bearing cones, and members of the same plant family, Pinaceae. This family is also joined by cedars and larch.

It can be difficult to tell apart the different groups of fir trees, but the needles and cones can help with identification.

If a twig bears a single needle that is flat to touch, then it’s most likely to be a fir. If the single needle has sides and does not roll between your fingers, it could be a spruce. Pine needles generally bunch out from the twig – two, three or even five at any one point.

Fir trees are also distinguished by cones that stand upright on the branches like candles. Fir tree cones are softer than other cones of coniferous trees, and they come apart at the end of the season to spread their seeds.

The fir is most common at Christmas time and several different species are used, for example, Balsam fir, Fraser fir, Noble fir and Nordmann fir. The latter is the most popular choice, one of the reasons being that it has a lovely symmetrical shape with strong branches. The needles are shiny, mid green and soft to touch.

As we know, fir has many other very important uses-timber being just one of them. The common timber fir is Douglas Fir. It is one of the most popular softwoods used both in factories and at home, and it is quite an interesting species. Despite being a softwood, it possesses features that enable it to be used in tasks mostly meant for hardwoods. During its growth, it is said to be very shade-intolerant. As a result, it prunes its limbs, hence leading to the development of longer and straighter fibres. This makes it very strong and resistant to physical impacts.

 In aromatherapy uses, as an essential oil, Fir is beneficial for coughs, colds, flu, arthritis, muscle aches and rheumatism. Its properties include being an analgesic, antiseptic, antitussive, deodorant, disinfectant and expectorant. It has uplifting qualities and is considered a stimulant, bringing alertness to the mind or fighting general fatigue. It blends well with other evergreen oils, such as Pine, Spruce and Cedarwood, but also with Blue Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon or Rosemary. It is considered non-irritating, non-sensitizing and non-toxic, but always consult with a physician before use, especially when pregnant.

Another useful product from a fir tree is resin. If you make a cut on the bark of a Norway spruce, resin will slowly ooze out, gradually solidifying.

The purpose of this sticky excretion is to prevent the entry of infectious fungi, bacteria and insects, and to deter herbivores from consuming the foliage and bark.

There is however, one conifer tree species that excels in its production of resin – balsam fir.

A native of eastern and central Canada as well as north-eastern America, the balsam fir can also be found as a relatively common tree in the conifer tree plantations of Western Europe. Much of balsam fir resin is concentrated within prominent blisters on the bark. It’s the resin contained within these many blisters that provides such an easily acquired bushcraft resource.

The sheer stickiness of balsam fir resin can, when applied to a small cut, staunch bleeding.

Because of its antiseptic properties, resin also forms an effective seal against infection and some types of burns.

Let’s not forget the relationship with wildlife and Fir. Squirrels, siskins and crossbills are among the many species that eat seeds from the cones of many firs. A squirrel feeds on the seeds of a Douglas fir cone by peeling off each scale, discarding the scale and removing the seed. It is not just the wild areas of fir planting that encourage birds. On Dartmoor, conifer plantations support birds, including goshawks, that are not found in open woodland.

Fir tree in Selsey by Alex Ainge
 
So when you see the odd fir tree around the Manhood Peninsula, celebrate it as much as you do any other tree. So as we put “all hands to the pump to deal with climate change”, planting a fir tree will reward us. After all, it’s a tree for a lifetime, not just for Christmas.
 

Post by Alex Ainge

March’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

April 29th, 2021 by Nikki

The warm and sunny spells at the end of March were the perfect prompt to get insects more active in search of pollen and nectar. You will notice bumblebees, in particular (not just due to their size!), buzzing around your garden more as we progress through spring.

You can encourage bumblebees, and other nectar loving insects, into your garden with spring flowering plants, such as Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’ (Lungwort) and Primula vulgaris (Primroses).

Please note we are now also on Instagram, so do follow us to see photo submissions for this survey, as they come in!

Here are the species you spotted in March.

Species  

 

Black bird, Turdus merula3  

 

Black Garden Ant, Lasius niger30  

 

Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris4  

 

Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs 

 

Dunnock, Prunella modularis2  

 

Honey bee, Apis mellifera2  

 

Long-tailed Tit, Aegithalos caudatus3  

 

Missing sector orb spider, Zygiella x-notata1  

 

Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus 

 

Wood Pigeon, Columba palumbus1 

 

We also received some great photos:

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form.

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

April 2021 Volunteering Activities

April 7th, 2021 by Nikki

Our outdoor volunteering activities will be returning this April. Please join us to help us continue our habitat improvement work. We will be completing some simple and low-impact tasks, including wildflower seeding and installing stake-and-binder fences on sites.  

We are encouraging people to bring their own rakes, spades, refreshments and gloves, to these events. Please view our full COVID-19 volunteering policy, before attending.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, our group sizes are limited to 6 individuals for each site, therefore volunteers must RSVP via the contact form at the bottom of this page to book a place at any of the following activities. 


Saturday 10th April

Site 1: Wildflower seeding at Hilton Business Park pond, Church Farm Lane, East Wittering, Chichester.

Site 2: Wildflower seeding at Hedgehog Hall pond, Somerley Lane, Earnley PO20 7JD.

Site 3: Wildflower seeding at Somerley Lane, Earnley PO20 7JB.


Saturday 17th April

Site 1: Wildflower seeding at Triangle pond, Church Lane, Birdham 2O20 7AP.

Site 2: Wildflower seeding at North Mundham relic canal (parking at North Mundham Village Hall, School Lane, North Mundham PO20 1LA).


Wednesday 21st April

Site 1: Wildflower seeding at Hilton Business Park pond, Church Farm Lane, East Wittering, Chichester

Site 2: Wildflower seeding at Triangle Pond, Church Lane, Birdham 2O20 7AP.


Friday 23rd April

Wildflower seeding at Hunston Manor, Church Lane, Hunston PO20 1AJ.


Saturday 24th April

Site 1: Wildflower seeding at Rymans pond, Rymans House, Apuldram Lane South, Apuldram PO20 7EG.

Site 2: Wildflower seeding at Hunston Manor, Church Lane, Hunston PO20 1AJ.

Site 3: Wildflower seeding at Hedgehog Hall pond, Somerley Lane, Earnley PO20 7JD.

Site 4: Wildflower seeding at North Mundham relic canal (parking at North Mundham Village Hall, School Lane, North Mundham PO20 1LA).


Wednesday 28th April

Wildflower seeding and stake-and-binder fence installing at Camic Pond, Punches Lane, South Mundham PO20 1LU.



Please complete the contact form, below, if you would like to get involved. Our team leaders will get back to you as soon as possible to let you know which time slots are available on each day, to ensure that no more than 6 people are onsite at any time. Parking information and any additional details, will also be provided by the team leader.



 

E is for Elm

March 19th, 2021 by Nikki

Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the flowering plant genus Ulmus. The English Elm was a very common sight in the UK, especially Wales, before the 70’s. It is instantly recognisable by the leaves, which have bristly hairs on the upper surface. Despite potential confusion in their names, Wych elm is actually a more genuine native to this country than the English elm.

English Elm illustration
English Elm (Ulmus procera). Zelimir Borzan, University of Zagreb, Bugwood.org
Wych Elm illustration
Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra). Zelimir Borzan, University of Zagreb, Bugwood.org

Invaluable to wildlife, with birds feeding on its seeds and moths on its leaves, the elm was also home to caterpillars of the white letter hairstreak butterfly. Unsurprisingly, this species has declined dramatically since Dutch elm disease took hold. Elm is a favourite with warblers and other insect eating birds.

The leaves of the Wych Elm have toothed edges. Hairs cover the strong ribs on the under surface. And are thought to protect the under surface from dust. When grown in city parks, the leaves of these trees often looked grey as the hairs collected soot from the atmosphere.

Wych Elm seeds

Wych Elm seeds. Norbert Frank, University of West Hungary, Bugwood.org

Seeds of the Wych Elm are “winged” so they float through the air. The tree produces seeds after about the 30th year of its life!

The wood is the toughest of European woods and is considered to bear the driving of bolts and nails better than any other. It was used for naves of wheels, shells for tackle-blocks, and common turnery.

It is very durable under water, and was frequently used for keels of ships, for boat building, and for many structures exposed to wet, or when great strength is required. Traditional narrow boats have an elm bottom, made up of 3″ by 7′ planks. Many English towns had elm water mains, including Bristol, Reading, Exeter, Southampton, Hull and Liverpool, before metal was used.

English Elm fruits

English Elm fruits (Ulmus procera). Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org

In Celtic mythology, too, elm trees were associated with the Underworld. They had a special affinity with elves who guarded the burial mounds, their dead and the associated passage into the Underworld. This fiction ties in nicely with fact-Elm wood was used to make coffins.

A fungal disease that has devastated populations of elms arrived in the UK in the 1960s. It is called ‘Dutch’ elm disease. The fungus was first described by Dutch scientists, although it is believed to be of Asian origin. It is a type of disease that causes vascular wilt, meaning it blocks the trees water transport system, causing the branches to wilt and die. The fungus is spread from tree to tree by elm bark beetles. These beetles have distinct feeding preferences for certain species of elm. Their favourite in the UK is English elm, and their least preferred is Wych elm.

It has killed an estimated 60 million elm trees in the United Kingdom. It is thought that as few as 100 mature English elm trees survive across England, although young elms still spring up sporadically and can sometimes be seen lining hedgerows before surrendering to this devastating infection. There is no effective cure available, but early sanitation felling, or removal of infected trees and branches, can slow the spread of the disease. This has been effective in helping to retaining good populations of mature elms in some places in Britain, especially in Brighton.

Fungicides, tree vaccines and chemical and biological controls have been or are being developed. However, these treatments have limitations, such as expense, difficulty of application, and the need for them to be repeated, sometimes every year. Their use is therefore likely to be limited to individual trees, or small groups of trees, of high cultural, heritage, landscape or amenity value. Some work is being done in the UK and in continental Europe to identify and breed elms trees which show resistance to, or tolerance of, the fungus, including tolerant hybrid cultivars.

The Duchy of Cornwall is one producer of disease-resistant elms. They are potted up in 5 litre pots and sold at a cost of £25.00. Wouldn’t it be great if we could raise funds to buy some of these elms and put back what Dutch Elm Disease has taken from us?

Watch this space……!

Read Alex’s previous A-Z post, here.


Post by Alex Ainge

February’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

March 18th, 2021 by Nikki

February marks the end of the winter season and gives us a hint at the activity to come, in spring. Our followers reported seeing a lot more bird activity last month, with a number of you seeing large flocks of migrating Brent geese.

As we transition into spring, it’s a good time to remember that nesting season can actually start in February for some species, while March to August is the busiest time for nesting birds. The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) has made it illegal for individuals to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built. We always recommend pruning hedgerows and trees outside of these months as much as possible, to avoid disrupting nests.

February’s results:

Species 

No. Seen 

Blackbird, Turdus merula 

6 

Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus 

4 

Blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus 

5 

Brent goose, Branta bernicla 

1200 

Carrion crow, Corvus corone 

1 

Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis 

7 

Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs 

1 

Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto 

2 

Curlew, Numenius arquata 

25 

Dunnock, Prunella modularis 

2 

Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis 

8 

Great black-backed gull, Larus marinus 

1 

Great spotted woodpecker, Dendrocopos major 

2 

Great tit, Parus major 

1 

Greenfinch, Chloris chloris 

2 

Herring gull, Larus argentatus 

3 

House Sparrow, Passer domesticus 

8 

Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus 

1 

Magpie, Pica pica 

1 

Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos 

42 

Oyster catcher, Haematopus ostralegus 

10 

Robin, Erithacus rubecula 

4 

Roe Deer, Capreolus capreolus 

1 

Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus 

1 

Starling, Sturnus vulgaris 

4 

Woodpigeon, Columba palumbus 

5 

Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes 

2 

Photos submitted:

 

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form.

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

D is for DOGWOOD

March 10th, 2021 by Nikki
White dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) flowers

Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org

Dogwood or Cornel comes from a large family called Cornaceae. It ranges from low creeping shrubs to large trees. Some of the 60 species grow well in hedgerows and look similar to Privet. Many of us recognise it as the ornamental shrub with bright red, orange or yellow stems, often seen in parks and gardens. The name for this ornamental shrub is Cornus Sanguinea.

Such a curious name for a widely distributed species. I decided to dig into some of my old tree books to see if I could unravel its past and the reason for its name.

The classification of Dogwood is “Cornus”. This is an ancient latin word meaning “horn”.

Dogwood is a very hard and strong wood, and it was said that the term Dogwood could have easily evolved from the Celtic word dag, dagga, or dagwood over the years. If you look up the word “dagwood’ it shows you an American piled up sandwich with a cocktail stick or skewer holding it in place! What has this got to do with Dogwood? Well, you may be familiar with the word “firedog”. This was originally a piece of stone with indentations to possibly hold skewers on to which pieces of meat were roasted. Firedogs got their name from the four-legged appearance-a pair of bracket supports upon which logs were laid for burning in a open fireplace. It is possible that the skewers on ancient firedogs were made from dogwood. The wood is so hard that the finest weaving shuttles were made from it, and later, golf club heads.

Dogwood bark was also used as a mange treatment for dogs. The bark was boiled, and the dog was washed in the resulting liquid. Any medicinal properties that the bark or the tree actually has is minimal at best, and the practice of using the Dogwood for mange, seems to have resulted in the misconception that the name Dogwood meant that it was good for dogs.

Dogwood has had other uses over the centuries. Its white flowers are produced in June or July and produce nectar which gives off an unattractive smell and attracts flies or beetles. In September, small green berries are produced, which turn black in September. These bitter berries produce a greenish-blue dye and a non-drying oil which is used in soap in France.

You can harvest the Dogwood berries in Autumn. They need a bit of coaxing to germinate (known as stratification). First, soak the berries in water for a couple of days. If the berries float in the water, they are no good and need to be removed. Soaking should make it easier for the pulp to come away, exposing the seeds. You can then place the seeds in the fridge for 3 months to mimic a cold period thus initiating germination. After this time, the seeds can be planted out in to seed trays about ¼ inch deep.

Dogwood is an excellent choice for firewood, once it has been dried thoroughly. The tree can be coppiced, whereby it is cut down to the ground to stimulate growth. This makes it an excellent tree to grow with other species, thus increasing the diversity of trees.

 

Read Alex’s previous A-Z post, here.


Post by Alex Ainge

CATKINS AND COPPICING

March 5th, 2021 by Nikki

Male catkins before fully floweringCatkins are small clusters of flowers and can be seen on some trees. My favourite of all catkins are found on the Goat Willow. Most of us know this tree as the pussy willow because its catkins look like cat’s paws. These are the male catkins before they come into full flower and this “fir coat” helps to keep the developing reproductive parts warm. Pussy willows emerge in early spring when it’s still quite cold, but when the sun shines, the temperature in the centre of the catkin can rise above air temperatures by trapping the heat from the sun with its insulating hairs. This additional warming aids in the development of the pollen.

The caterpillars of that elusive and beautiful butterfly-the Purple Emperor- prefer to feed on Goat willow. In fact, willows producing large amounts of strongly scented nectar which bees and flies are readily drawn to. They are pollinated by insects, whereas other catkin-producing trees rely on the breeze to disperse the pollen grains.

Some trees like Alder, Hazel, Silver Birch and Hornbeam have both female and male flowers(catkins) on the same tree. Others, mainly Ash, Yew and White Poplar have female and male flowers on separate trees. Let’s look, briefly at Alder and Hazel.

Alder is the only deciduous tree that produces cone-like structures found wild in Britain. It is these cones that prove so attractive to Siskins and Redpolls in winter. Both male and female catkins are borne on the same tree having been formed the previous year. The following spring, male catkins swell and open slightly to produce pollen. Wind dispersed pollen finds its way to female catkins, which start to turn green, ripening around October. Alder cones can be collected before they open and placed in a bag at room temperature to dry. The cone will release the winged seeds and these can be sown (covered with a thin layer of sharp sand) and left to over winter. They should germinate the following spring.

Hazel produces male catkins the previous autumn. These catkins shed their pollen in spring, which in turn, pollinates female catkins produced on other Hazel trees. Nuts begin life pale green and turn caramel brown as they ripen in the autumn. Up to four nuts are produced on each stalk. Hazel nuts are a favoured food of dormice but are also eaten by squirrels, mice and jays. The nuts should be picked when they start to turn brown and then sown immediately in a pot or seedbed.

This leads me on to coppicing as some of the tree species mentioned, namely Alder, Willow and Hazel can be coppiced.

Coppicing is the practice of cutting trees to ground level. Cutting an established tree down to its base instigates the fresh growth of many smaller shoots and opens up the woodland for other plant species to grow. In fact, if space is restricted, coppicing native shrubs and trees allows you to grow a greater range of species than there would normally be room for. To start a coppice, you plant bare root whips at 1.5 to 2.5m spacings. These whips can be grown in a tree nursery like the one we will be working on in West Wittering.

There are many uses of wood from a coppice, for example, hazel hurdles, gate hurdles, hedging stakes and oak bark for tanning

The reserve at West Dean Woods is a great example of how woodlands were managed in the past. The hazel, sitting amongst the oak standards, has been coppiced here for hundreds of years and is referred to as coppice or copse in 17th century maps.

Read Alex’s previous A-Z post, here.


Post by Alex Ainge

C is for Cake!

February 18th, 2021 by Nikki
Volunteers seated on fold-up chairs, eating home-made cake during a work break.
FLOW Project volunteers on a well earned tea and cake break © Jane Reeve, 2019

I could not celebrate our volunteers without talking about their love of all things “cake”. As I mentioned, last week, you have to add in the mid-volunteering sweet treat (with a cuppa, of course!) to keep the momentum up.

Let us look at a few facts about this great sweet food, first. The word itself is of Viking origin, from the Old Norse word “kaka”. Cakes are traditionally round, symbolising the cyclical nature of life, the sun and the moon. The Germans would celebrate children’s birthdays with cake, calling the celebration Kinderfest.  In Medieval times, parties would be held to mark the end of Christmas and live birds and frogs would burst out of a giant cake. Thank goodness our job is to look after these creatures now.

What better way to celebrate and thank our volunteers than to offer them cake. It is part of the 3 vital “c’s”(cake, cuppa and chat). I think if we took a poll, the favourite type would be a fruit cake of some sort. So with full permission from our FLOW Project Leader, Jane Reeve, I can share with you her much loved banana bread (that acts like a cake!).

Jane’s Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1lb banana (without skin)
  • 4oz butter chopped into small pieces
  • 8oz self-raising flour
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp mixed spice
  • 6oz sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6oz of any combination of the following: chopped peel, nuts, cherries, chocolate chips, chopped crystallised ginger, fresh mango, pineapple, desiccated coconut – I sometimes put 3 or 4 of these ingredients in, depending what is in the cupboard, as long as the weight is correct.

Preparation

Heat the oven to Gas mark 4, 350°F, 180°C. Line a 2lb loaf tin with grease-proof paper or grease well with oil or butter.

Put the peeled banana in a blender or mash them up completely (you might need to add a tiny amount of fruit juice or smoothie to make this work).

In a large bowl combine the flour and sugar, the mixed spice and salt and the rub in the chopped pieces of butter. Add the eggs to the dry mixture and then pour in the blended banana and stir it all together. Add the other ingredients and ensure that it is all well mixed. Pour into the loaf tin or into a well-greased muffin tray to make individual portions.

Put in the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes – for the 2lb loaf tin or 20 minutes if in individual muffin cases or tray – keep an eye on it to ensure that the top of the loaf / muffins do not become too dark.

Remove from the oven and tip from the tin while still warm to ensure that it does not stick (and to test a big chunk just to make sure it’s done!).

~

What could be better than the outdoors, exercise and the 3 “c’s” to make volunteering a perfect way to spend any day!

 

Read Alex’s previous A-Z post, here.


Post by Alex Ainge

B is for Brambles – Like it or Not!

February 18th, 2021 by Nikki
European blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) flowers close-up.
Flowering European blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) © Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org

Oh! Am I reminding you, my volunteer buddies, about the beast from when time began?

Like it or not, the bramble has been one of the biggest challenges on our sites. You have to have a check list in your head before approaching this unruly plant:

  • Gloves that can withstand being shredded…tick
  • Shears sharper than a guillotine…tick
  • A range of expletives at the ready…tick
  • Tea and cake within grabbing distance…tick
  • Other volunteers to mop your furrowed brow…double tick
Brambles encroaching on a house and jasmine plant © Alex Ainge, 2021

Sadly, we are losing the ability to celebrate what this plant has to offer. After all, who doesn’t love a blackberry pie made from the freshly picked fruits? The negative folklore has not helped the bramble. In medieval times, people planted brambles on graves to stop the dead from coming out and prevent the devil from getting in!

So aside from its dark past, we must marvel at what the bramble contributes to planet earth. Robins, Wrens, Thrushes, Blackbirds, Warblers and Finches will nest in bramble and small mammals, like the Hedgehog and Dormouse, use it for protection from predators. Moths, such as Buff Arches, Peach Blossom and Fox moths, lay their eggs on bramble as it is their larval foodplant. Brambles also provide an important source of nectar for Brimstone and Speckled Wood butterflies and fruits for Song Thrushes and Yellowhammers.

Speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) butterfly © Nicola Timney, 2018

We must remember that brambles have been here for a very long time, even as long as 8000 years ago, when bramble seeds were found in the stomach of a Neolithic man in Essex.

So I salute you, dear volunteer, for all the shearing, lopping and tugging of this amazing plant and I hope some of you will join me as we tackle the next bramble maze at our Tree Nursery at West Wittering allotments. I will bring LOTS of tea and cake…I promise!!!!!

Read Alex’s previous A-Z post, here.


Post by Alex Ainge

Acorns to Brambles

February 10th, 2021 by Nikki

You might be wondering, why the jump from “acorns” to “brambles”? Well, let’s first look at how the mighty oak gets off the ground, literally.

There are many schools of thought about how to germinate an acorn. Some say you need to collect the acorns before they drop. This can be a problem if the lowest branch of the tree is metres off the ground! However, the Tree Council’s guide states that you can pick the acorns as soon as possible after they have fallen. I will refer to their guide throughout my weekly blogs and show some of their pictures (I thank the Tree Council for their kind permission to do so). Their “Good Seed Guide” explains identifying, collecting and planting tree seeds in an easy-to-follow approach.

So back to the humble acorn. It is worth mentioning that if your oak tree has long stalks attached to the acorn, then it is from an English oak. If the acorns are unstalked, then the tree is likely to be another British native called the Sessile oak.

Acorns illustrated in the Good Seed Guide, by the Tree Council

Once collected, you can test the acorns to see if they have the potential to germinate by placing them in a bucket of water. If they float, they probably are no good. The trick is to keep the acorns moist. The best time to plant out is after the heavy rains have subsided (which is debatable nowadays), so if you harvested the acorns in Autumn, you can store them in a sealed container with some vermiculite or moist potting compost and place in the fridge until the following Spring. The acorns need to be kept moist. If they show signs of mould, you can wash them in water and replace into fresh potting compost.

When you are ready to plant the acorn, prepare the soil so that it is free draining (add grit if the soil is clay based). Place the acorn on its side and bury at least half an inch under the soil. Place the middle of a cardboard carton over the planting area (you can fit 2 acorns in the space). This carton acts as a guard to protect the seedling when it emerges. The acorn produces a long tap root at first, so it will be a couple of months before a shoot appears. The key to success is water, water and water. The acorn is a thirsty nut!

So what part do brambles play? Well, you see, they act as natural tree guards as the seedlings become established. However, they have to be monitored as they can dominate an area and physically smother the seedlings as they compete for light. The best natural method of bramble control is through grazing, but as you may not have access to a pig or goat, you may need to dig it out. Let’s not forget that whilst the mighty oak feeds the larvae of the Purple Hairstreak butterfly, the bramble provides nectar for the Brimstone and Speckled wood butterflies, as well as hiding places for hedgehogs.

 

Read Alex’s previous A-Z post, here.


Post by Alex Ainge

January’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

February 4th, 2021 by Nikki

Our weather systems have brought plenty of rain, and hinted at a few flurries of snow, but our local birds have not been discouraged from their usual activities. You saw a good range of birds this month, along with a few hoverflies and a hedgehog!

A highlight of these sightings is the Kestrel. Although often seen flying over farmland, this bird has actually suffered a big decline in numbers over the last few decades. There are a variety of projects currently investigating this issue and so far, they have noted that use of rodenticides appear to be a key factor. The wildlife sightings you send us are always uploaded to the central records database, iRecord, to ensure that conservation researchers have access to them. Keep recording – a common sighting to you could become useful data!

 

January’s results:

Species 

No. Seen 

Blackbird, Turdus merula 

4 

Carrion crow, Corvus corone 

2 

Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto 

10 

Coal tit,  Periparus ater 

2 

Green Woodpecker, Picus viridis 

1 

Hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus 

1 

Herring Gull, Larus argentatus 

2 

House Sparrows, Passer domesticus 

10 

Hoverfly, Meliscaeva auricollis 

1 

Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus 

1 

Long-tailed tit, Aegithalos caudatus 

2 

Marmalade Hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus 

1 

Robin, Erithacus rubecula 

1 

Photo submissions:

 

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form.

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

A is for Ash

February 2nd, 2021 by Nikki

Welcome volunteers, to my A-Z of you and all the wildlife that you have helped and are passionate about. 

The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group (MWHG) have volunteers that have worked with us for over 10 years and volunteers that want to get started but have been stalled by Covid. I didn’t want to mention THAT word, but I have. I won’t do it again! There are other reasons that you and I got involved in volunteering. I only wish, for sanity sake, that we could be beavering away on a wet, windy, muddy day to forget our present plight!

So, back to A. Before I write about the Ash tree, one of our first volunteering groups was, in fact, the ASHE group. Each letter stands for a local parish or hamlet of the Manhood Peninsula (Almodington, Sidlesham, Highleigh, Earnley). The group was formed just over 12 years ago after Sarah Hughes, Chichester District Council‘s Wildlife Officer, gave a talk at the Sidlesham church hall in order to generate interest and drum up volunteers.

In the earlier years, work concentrated on restoring rural ponds, mainly Morgan’s, Bushell’s, and Haydon’s pond in Almodington and Florence pond in Church Farm road, Sidlesham. The group did some valuable pond surveys, water vole surveys (as part of the Water Vole Project) and moth surveys (during the summer months). Bat surveys were also undertaken in the early years with a few very late evenings, as bats didn’t oblige the volunteers with an appearance until after dusk!  

Although a small group, at first, the ASHE group definitely set the scene for more work to follow. I have been lucky enough to meet and work with this group and the bigger group that followed with our next project (the FLOW Project). What a lovely bunch of people and what hard workers! Some of them happy to wade about in the odd pond or two (and in fact, parted from their welly boots in the pond silt on many an occasion!). 

Ash tree during winter, in Sidlesham

Ash tree in Sidlesham, by Alex Ainge

My picture of the Ash tree is very apt as it was taken in Sidlesham a couple of weeks’ ago. What a majestic beauty with it’s black sticky buds reaching for the sun. Such a shame to think that so many of these beauties have succumbed to Ash dieback. Ash dieback is a chronic fungal infection that is affecting the ash population across Europe and the UK. The pathogen – Hymenoscyphus fraxineus  – attacks the internal water transport systems of trees. An infected tree is noticeable for its loss of leaves, wilting, lesions in the bark and stems of trees, and discolouration of the bark. However, a recent study by scientists have shown that some Ash trees have developed resistance to the disease. There is hope for this wonderful tree, after all.  

 

Read Alex’s previous A-Z post, here.

 


Post by Alex Ainge

 

Ash and Acorns

January 28th, 2021 by Nikki

Well, we (the volunteers) can’t do much at the moment in terms of physical work. Instead, I wanted to keep in touch with a bit of information and what we could be looking to grow in our nursery, for the West Wittering Tree Nursery Project. We can become learned volunteers, if nothing else!

I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite trees is the Ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior or Venus of the Woods). It belongs to the same family as the olive and lilac and, in fact, produces an oil that is chemically similar to olive oil.

Common Ash Tree, European Ash Tree, Fraxinus excelsior
European Ash tree, Fraxinus excelsior (Zelimir Borzan, University of Zagreb, Bugwood.org)

The wood is used by humans to make furniture, tennis rackets, snooker cues and even the frame of the British motor – the Morgan. But, to wildlife, this tree is manna from heaven! The plants that grow beneath the ash tree attract the brown fritillary butterfly; dormice love the ash’s understorey; caterpillars of the coronet moth munch on the leaves; bullfinches eat the seeds and woodpeckers, owls, redstarts and nuthatches nest in the Ash tree.

Of course, many of you will have heard of the Ash dieback disease. This is a fungus that came over from Asia. However, there is hope that some trees are developing resistance to the disease and Ash could recover in 50 years’ time.

If you want to grow one, it takes 30 years to produce flowers and lives up to 250 years. A minor problem! Just collect the seeds or “wings” from the tree when they have turned brown. The seeds will need stratifying. What’s this? I hear you say.

Well folks, here’s the real deal on creating a tree nursery. You see, a lot of seeds have a natural defence mechanism built in to ensure they do not grow in the winter months when the seedlings could be killed off by the cold. In fact, they won’t germinate until they have gone through a winter of cold weather. But many seeds only germinate when fresh. So, in many cases, we need to break that seed dormancy period and the main way is stratification.

But don’t be put off! I will cover this in another article, under “S” probably!

I hope this information has tickled the grey cells and that you’ll join me next week when I talk about acorns. Don’t worry, it is one of the few seeds that doesn’t need a wake up call!

 


Post by Alex Ainge

New: View our Sidlesham Heritage Display (Outdoors!)

January 14th, 2021 by Nikki
Sidlesham Heritage Displays

Our members have set up a Sidlesham Heritage exhibition, to share information of the important history of the local area. The display is viewable in the glass windows of the Little Orchard Nursery and will feature new content, plus the exhibits produced last year by the Weald and Downland Living Museum’s curator, Julian Bell, for their 2020 exhibition on the Land Settlement Association.

Organiser, Dr Bill Martin, announced this week, “The Sidlesham Heritage Centre is up and running at Little Orchard Nursery (No 74) on Lockgate Road (PO20 7QQ) with the kind permission of Len & Aart Dubbeldam. The display explains the origins of the Land Settlement Association (LSA), the heritage trail, the LSA house at the Weald & Downland Living Museum, and will feature LSA stories, starting with Josh Aitchison, who came to Sidlesham as a road builder and stayed on as a LSA employee. The display also lists some of Sidlesham’s other local history features and it will be updated every 3-to-6 months.”

Sidlesham Heritage Display Posters Close-up

Learn more about the history of the Land Settlement Association, through our downloadable Sidlesham Heritage Trail booklet.


Contact the organiser, Dr Bill Martin, via the contact form below to learn more about this project. 

 

New Project Launched to Grow Trees in West Wittering

January 11th, 2021 by Nikki

Let me tell you about our exciting new project, the West Wittering Tree Nursery project. We are going to be growing trees from seeds!

Tree Nursery Plot in West Wittering

Tree Nursery Plot in West Wittering

West Wittering Parish Council has kindly given us permission to use a strip of land at the allotments off Ellanore Lane. Thanks also to David Thompson (Chairman of the Allotment) for picking out an area which will be perfect for our project.

We have six enthusiastic volunteers and we hope to be able to start preparing the site soon!!

Trees are so valuable to us and our planet, providing us with oxygen to breathe; removing excess carbon dioxide to combat climate change, as well as acting as flood defences.

This project will engage with everyone, from primary school children up to people like myself (I am a young 61 year old!!).

We are going to need various pieces of equipment which I hope you can all help with finding or even making.

So watch this space for updates and if you want to provide some expertise or even just a trowel, you can contact me (Alex Ainge) via the contact form, below.

 

West Wittering Tree Nursery Project Contact Form


Post by Alex Ainge

December’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

January 8th, 2021 by Nikki

Another mild month gave our supporters some good bird-watching opportunities. As expected, most of the reported sightings made in December were of bird species. 

Perhaps the surprising submission of the month was a photo of a Buff-tailed bumblebee. Bumblebees remind us of the spring and summer months, when insects make the most of nectar-filled flowers, however this particular species of bumblebee is often just as active in the winter. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust recommends planting Mahonia, Viburnum x bodnantense, and winter honeysuckle in your garden, to provide a food source over the winter. 

 

Read December’s results, below:

 

Species 

No. Seen 

Blackbird, Turdus merula 

7 

Buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris 

1 

Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis 

1 

Mute Swan, Cygnus olor 

2 

Pied Wagtail, Motacilla alba 

1 

Robin, Erithacus rubecula 

2 

Rook, Corvus frugilegus 

3 

Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos 

1 

Starling, Sturnus vulgaris 

162 

Woodpigeon, Columba palumbus 

3 

Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes 

1 

December’s photo submissions:

 

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form.

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

Autumn Winter Newsletter 2020

December 9th, 2020 by Nikki

This year’s autumn winter newsletter is now available! Included in this edition are words from MWHG’s new Chair, updates from our FLOW Project Leader and the local Community Project Officer, as well as an introduction to our new Treasurer, Jane Scotland.

As always, our brilliant members and volunteers have also shared their own messages, stories of their activities over the summer, and photos of the interesting wildlife they have spotted.

 

View our Autumn Winter Newsletter

 


You can read our previous newsletters on our website’s newsletter archive.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

If you would like to be notified when our newsletters are released, sign up below!
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November’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

December 7th, 2020 by Nikki

After a mild October, where bumblebees and butterflies were still a regular sight in our gardens, the signs of winter began to settle in over November. All of a sudden, it seems as though our regular wildlife visitors have disappeared. Some animals, such as hedgehogs and dormice, will hibernate until spring when food sources return. Non-hibernating species will also appear absent, hunkering down for warmth in compost heaps, and leaf/ log piles. To help insects stay warm over winter, why not make a bug hotel in your garden using layers of logs, smaller twigs, bricks, and old plant pots!

As we head into much cooler weather, you can expect birds to be the most common sightings reported.

Read November’s results, below:

 

Species 

No. Seen 

Common frogRana temporaria 

1 

DunnockPrunella modularis 

1 

Dwarf Pond SnailGalba truncatula 

10 

GoldfinchCarduelis carduelis 

1 

Grey HeronArdea cinerea 

1 

House flyPhaonia rufiventris 

1 

HoverflyEupeodes luniger 

1 

Orb Web SpiderAraneus diadematus 

1 

RobinErithacus rubecula 

2 

Wood PigeonColumba palumbus 

4 

WrenTroglodytes troglodytes 

1 

Yellow WagtailMotacilla flava 

1 

Photos we received in November:

 

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form.

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

Local Charity Achieve Runners-Up for National Award in Wildlife Recording

December 3rd, 2020 by Nikki

The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group (MWHG), a Selsey-based charity dedicated to preserving the unique character of the Manhood Peninsula, triumphed within the Group category of the National Biodiversity Network’s (NBN) Awards for Wildlife Recording 2020. They secured the runners-up position behind the winner: The Mammal Society. These national Awards were announced during an online conference on Wednesday 18th November. They recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions adults and young people are making to wildlife recording, which is helping to improve our understanding of the UK’s biodiversity.

The MWHG’s project ‘Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands’ (FLOW) works with landowners and local communities to reduce flooding, improve unmanaged ditches and ponds in poor condition, connect wildlife habitats, and record wildlife.

The Group’s commitment to recording intensified in 2013 due to a lack of records on the Peninsula. Since then, the Group has submitted a large amount of data, particularly on rare, legally-protected species like water voles. All waterways and ditches on the Peninsula are now considered to be water vole habitat and therefore a developer must prove that they are not present which is a significant policy change.

Staff and volunteers from the Group have continued to survey wildlife throughout 2020 from their own gardens, on local walks, or at project sites such as the Relic Canal in North Mundham, Florence Pond in Sidlesham, Birdham Village Pond and many more. These wildlife records build an up-to-date database of information that can be shared with local organisations and government bodies, as well as guide future conservation work.

Dr Jill Sutcliffe from the Group said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for our recording effort and would like to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and dedication.”

 

Learn more about how to volunteer with MWHG, here.

 

View details of how to take part in our Find Wildlife From Home survey, here.


Post by Emily Sabin

Give your Feedback to our FLOW Project

November 11th, 2020 by Nikki

As the Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands (FLOW) Project comes to the end of its improvement phase in March 2021, the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group and the funder of this 5 year phase, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, are looking for feedback from those who have been involved in the project in any way.

If you have volunteered for FLOW, attended one of our events or training courses, or have been involved in the project as a landowner, sponsor, contractor, or member of a community/ parish group working with this scheme, please take the survey via this link www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FLOW_2020 or via the button, below. This survey has been created by our external evaluator, Resources for Change.

The more people that respond, the better we can show how wide reaching and impactful this project has been for our local wetlands, and for those who have been involved along the way. 

Thank you for supporting this project over the last 5 years and ensuring we achieve our goals to restore forgotten habitats and bring back traditional wetland management skills – we couldn’t have done it without you!

The FLOW Team

 

 

October’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

November 6th, 2020 by Nikki

This survey began at the start of the lockdown in March, to give our active and dedicated volunteers a way to continue supporting their local wildlife, and to encourage people to take a closer look at nature near to home. Since March, we have had fantastic sightings and photos sent in to us, and this October our followers still found the time to survey their gardens and search for wildlife, while out and about. During the second lockdown, this November, we hope you will consider using some of your time outside to record, and share with us, the wildlife you see.

Here’s what you spotted, during October:

 

Species 

No. Seen 

Blackbird, Turdus merula 

1 

Box-tree moth, Cydalima perspectalis 

1 

Brown-tail moth, Euproctis chrysorrhoea 

1 

Buzzard, Buteo buteo 

1 

Comma butterfly, Polygonia c-album 

2 

Common Darter dragonfly, Sympetrum striolatum 

1 

Cranefly, Tipula paludosa 

8 

Dunnock, Prunella modularis 

2 

Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis 

2 

Grass Carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella 

3 

Hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus 

2 

Hover-fly, Myathropa florea 

1 

Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus 

1 

Red Admiral butterfly, Vanessa atalanta 

2 

Robin, Erithacus rubecula 

2 

Rusty-dot Pearl, Udea ferrugalis 

1 

Wood Pigeon, Columba palumbus 

3 

Check out the photos we received:

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form.

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

Fact or Fiction? Test your Bat Knowledge

October 12th, 2020 by Nikki

The UK is home to 18 different species of bats, with their silhouettes against the dusk sky a recognisable sight to us all, yet there are many negative connotations attached to these familiar creatures – so, how much do we really know about bats?

As a protected species, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981, and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2017), it is more important than ever that we understand more about bats and recognise their importance, to ensure they are protected in the long-term.

In light of the negative press surrounding bats this year, ecologists from Ecology by Design have created the quiz below, to spread awareness of bats, share interesting facts about them, and de-bunk the misleading myths. Take the quiz to test your bat knowledge, and let us know your score!

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Post by Nicola Timney and Ecology by Design

September’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

October 5th, 2020 by Nikki

September’s revival of warm sunny weather gave our supporters lots of good surveying opportunities, resulting in our Find Wildlife From Home survey surpassing 300 wildlife record submissions! 

We hope to make the most of future warm days to come by surveying for as long as possible, and look forward to continuing more dusk bat surveys while the weather is still bat-friendly! Subscribe as a volunteer to hear about these events, first.


Read September’s survey results, below: 

 

Species 

No. Seen 

Box-tree MothCydalima perspectalis 

1 

Bronze furrow beeHalictus confusus 

1 

Brown-tail Tussock Moth CaterpillarEuproctis chrysorrhoea 

50 

Caddisfly, Genus: Limnephilus 

2 

Collared DoveStreptopelia decaocto 

2 

Common FrogRana temporaria 

1 

DunnockPrunella modularis 

2 

Fox, Vulpes vulpes 

3 

Giant Willow AphidTuberolachnus salignus 

100 

Girdled SnailHygromia cinctella 

1 

Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis 

8 

Hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus 

3 

House SparrowPasser domesticus 

1 

Hummingbird hawk-mothMacroglossum stellatarum 

1 

Large White Butterfly, Pieris brassicae 

1 

Meadow BrownManiola jurtina 

1 

Peacock ButterflyAglais io 

1 

Red Admiral Butterfly, Vanessa atalanta 

1 

Robin, Erithacus rubecula 

1 

Small Tortoiseshell ButterflyAglais urticae 

1 

Small White Butterfly, Pieris rapae 

1 

Thick-legged Hoverfly, Syritta pipiens 

1 

Wood Pigeon, Columba palumbus 

2 


Check out the photos we received: 

 

 

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form.

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

Rewilding at Knepp Estate: Our Walking Safari Experience

September 19th, 2020 by Nikki

This September, we took the opportunity to thank our volunteers and staff for their hard work and dedication, with a long-awaited trip to see the fantastic rewilding project at Knepp Estate, south of Horsham. The estate was originally used for intensive farming, until 2001 when the owners took the bold decision to end farming, reintroduce grazing animals, and allow the land to return to a natural state. The resulting transformation has been a huge success, so it was exciting to be able to go on their walking safari, and also take a look at where an infamous native species will be reintroduced, later this year.

Volunteers © 2020 Nicola Timney

Our members were split into small groups and allocated a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide, to tour different areas of the site. A buzzard circled above, as the guides detailed which large, yet elusive, herbivores could be seen on the walk. Longhorn Cattle, Exmoor Ponies and Red Deer were present, plus Tamworth Pigs and Fallow Deer, which our groups were lucky enough to see, had all been introduced as a key part of the rewilding process. Without their grazing, a closed canopy forest would overtake the estate, yet it is the mixture of tall woodland and low-lying scrubland at Knepp which make it so biodiverse.

White Stork nest © 2020 Nicola Timney

On route to the first stop, a large white stork nest was seen high in the tree tops. Our guide explained that two young storks had built the nest within a week – an incredible achievement due its size! While the pair did not successfully breed, it was a good sign that the area is continuing to attract these birds. Knepp is part of the White Stork Project, and currently house a small colony of 20 rescue storks, which can no longer fly due to previous injuries. The hope is that other storks spot the small group and choose to breed with them and stay locally, which will improve the genetic diversity of the colony and help secure the future of the species.

A young Oak tree growing out the top of the scrub © 2020 Nicola Timney

The next area of scrubland shown, was a fantastic example of rapid rewilding. Within 15 years, seeds from the surrounding hedgerows had been trapped by the hooves of cattle, and deposited in droppings, which then spread and germinated across the farmland. The vegetation had grown into large domed shapes, which proved to be a popular and safe nesting place for linnets, whitethroats, and many other birds.

A tree was often spotted growing out of the top of these vegetation ‘domes’, with oak being the most commonly found tree at Knepp. Forgotten acorns, which had been buried with surrounding greenery, were later protected from being eaten by deer, as the growing brambles create a defensive ‘skirt’ around the saplings. Some may find them unsightly, but we love how these un-kempt shrubs support biodiversity!

Speckled Wood butterfly © 2020 Nicola Timney

The staff at Knepp Estate shared their experience of the benefits of minimal land management. In particular, they found that by not trimming back hedges, new growth would continue to appear. This is especially important for the declining brown hairstreak butterfly, which lays its eggs on the new shoots of blackthorn hedgerows. Unlike traditional conservation methods, which can need a lot of human involvement, this simple method of leaving hedges untrimmed where possible, is an easy and cheap management strategy to try at home and in public spaces.

A notable feature of the land was the uneven ground, where the Tamworth pigs had been rooting. The unearthing of seeds, which then germinate in the disrupted ground, had enabled wildflowers to grow all over the estate. These buds and small leaves seem to be a favoured food source for Turtle doves in the area. Nationally, Turtle doves are expected to become extinct within a few years, so the staff hope to tag the doves and track their movements and feeds, to prove that reintroducing pigs to other areas in the UK could help the species.

Lightning-Struck tree © 2020 Nicola Timney

The main lesson learned on the trip, was to remember to always be untidy where possible! This beautiful lightning-struck tree would usually have been cleared, but keeping the tree and its debris has provided a fantastic habitat for insects. Try leaving out dead wood in your garden to naturally biodegrade overtime, or pile the wood into a bug hotel, to support insect popualtions. Our gardens make up more land than all the nature reserves in the UK put together, so you can make a real difference just by leaving areas of your garden less manicured.

Near the end of the safari tour, our members were shown an area with ditches and rivers, which will soon become home to European beavers, relocated from a reintroduction programme in Scotland. The beavers are expected to make use of the abundant young willow growing near Knepp’s watercourses, which in turn will allow light-loving and oxygenating plants to thrive in the water. In fact, the beavers will be managing the land much like our volunteers do for our Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands Project. We can’t wait to return next year and see how the landscape has changed!

Volunteers © 2020 Nicola Timney

Our team send a big thank you to Knepp Estate for a wonderful tour and an interesting insight into different land management strategies. The site is 3,500 acres, so there is lots more to see on our next trip, and we highly recommend that you visit!

Learn more about Knepp Estate on their website: www.knepp.co.uk/home


Post by Nicola Timney

August’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

September 2nd, 2020 by Nikki

While August was not a predictable month for the weather, our volunteers were reliable in recording and submitting their wildlife sightings. In the fifth month of our survey, a total of 69 records were submitted!

We now have volunteers regularly contributing their wildlife sightings, seen at FLOW project improved wetland sites – it’s great to see the results of your landscaping work supporting a wide range of species. Well done to all who braved the wild weather to carry out their surveys, last month!

If you are interested in wildlife recording, our FLOW project team are currently looking for volunteers to independently survey the following sites:

~ Rymans House pond in Apuldram
~ Easton Lane at the Sidlesham/ Earnley parish border
~ The relic canal in NorthMundham

Contact us at flow@mwhg.org.uk to learn more about independent surveying.


Read August’s survey results, below: 

 

Species 

No. 

Seen 

Blackbird, Turdus merula 

Blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus 

Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris 

12 

Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto 

Common blue butterfly, Polyommatus icarus 

Common carder bee, Bombus pascuorum 

Common soldier beetle, Rhagonycha fulva 

Dunnock, Prunella modularis 

Gatekeeper, Pyronia tithonus 

Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis 

12 

Grass moth, Chrysoteuchia culmella 

Great spotted woodpecker, Dendrocopos major 

Green Shieldbug nymph, Palomena prasina 

Holly Blue, Celastrina argiolus 

House Sparrow, Passer domesticus 

Hoverfly, (Syrphida family) 

20 

Ladybird, (Coccinellidae family) 

20 

Large White butterfly, Pieris brassicae 

11 

Linnet, Carduelis cannabina 

Long-bodied Hoverfly, Sphaerophoria scripta 

Magpie moth, Abraxas grossulariata 

Meadow Brown, Maniola jurtina 

Mint moth, Pyrausta aurata 

Mining bee, (Andrenidae family) 

Nursery web spider, Pisaura mirabilis 

Peacock butterfly, Aglais io 

Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta 

Robin, Erithacus rubecula 

Silver Y moth, Autographa gamma 

Small White, Pieris rapae 

Speckled wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria 

Tapered Drone fly, Eristalis pertinax 

Wood pigeon, Columba palumbus 

7-spot Ladybird, Coccinella septempunctata 


Check out the photos we received: 

 

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form.

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

75th Anniversary of VJ Day: Stories from the War Memorials

August 13th, 2020 by Nikki

Sidlesham

 

On the Sidlesham War Memorial are the names of two Brothers, Charles Frederick Dowdy and Harry Ernest Dowdy. Both brothers were in the Royal Navy.

Charles Dowdy died in the sinking of HMS Barham in November 1941, which we previously wrote about in our post ‘The Names on the War Memorial: Selsey 1939-1945′.

Harry was killed in February 1942 when HMS Scorpion, a river gunboat, was sunk by a Japanese destroyer off Sumatra.

Scorpion was an armed river boat of the dragonfly class. Her sister ship was the HMS Locust.

HMS LOCUST (FL 1677) Underway. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205120193
HMS Dragonfly, Scorpion and Locust were all lost in the same incident.

Reports that HMS Scorpion was sunk somewhere in the vicinity of Muntok (Banka Island) near Singapore, were from another vessel, ‘The Mata Hari’, which picked up five of the Scorpion’s crew who had been swimming in the water for over five hours. The Mata Hari surrendered to the Japanese later that night at the mouth of the Moesi river, which flows into Palembang. Reportedly, 42 of the 47 ships that left Singapore that night were sunk. The actual specifics of the Scorpion’s demise appear to be that she was damaged by aircraft on February 9th 1942 and later sunk by a Japanese destroyer at the Banka Straits three to four days later.

~

Reginald Makeham [Photo source: www.commandoveterans.org], on the Sidlesham War Memorial, was a private in 6 Troop Number 2 Commando The Gordon Highlanders. He took part in Operation Musketoon in 1942.

Operation Musketoon was a raid on an electricity generating station at Glomfjord, in German occupied Norway. Ten Commandos from No 2 Commando and 2 Norwegian corporals working for the SOE took part in the raid leaving their home port on the 11th September. They were taken by submarine to a remote Fjord, completed a difficult overland route and approached their target from the rear. Having evacuated the Norwegian workers first, they set explosive charges and blew up the plant, successfully destroyed it.

Seven of them were captured, while 3 escaped to Sweden, which was neutral territory. The captured commandos, including Reginald, were taken to Germany and held at Colditz Castle for a time, where they were later executed at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp under Hitler’s infamous Commando Order, an executive order that all captured commandos should be executed. The Germans told the Red Cross the commandos had escaped and not been recaptured to cover up their murder.

The story only emerged during the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.

Why is a Gordon Highlander on the Sidlesham War Memorial? Because his mother, Mary, was living at 6 The Terrace in Sidlesham, during the war.

Glomfjord Hydroelectric Power Plant © Matti Paavola. Source: www.tracesofwar.com

The War in the Far East

Jack Warnock died October 9th 1943

Gordon Hardy Perry died March 3rd 1945

George Thomas Wilkins died April 9th 1945

All three of these Selsey men were enlisted in the Royal Artillery.

George Wilkins was posted to Singapore in early 1941, and Gordon Perry and Jack Warnock were also posted to Singapore, and were in a convoy of ships that arrived on February 15th 1942, just as the city fell to the Japanese.

Japan refused to sign the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war. The prisoners rarely received Red Cross parcels, and they were in fact slowly starved to death. In the meantime, the Japanese authorities made them send home pre-printed postcards which suggested to their families that they were all right.

As prisoners of the Japanese, Gordon and George were sent to work on the notorious Burma railway and Jack was held in a POW camp in Thailand. The families heard nothing of them until 1945, when it was discovered that Jack had died of malnutrition and Beriberi disease (vitamin b deficiency) in 1943. Gordon survived into 1945, but was beaten by the guards, and was so debilitated by Beriberi and malnutrition he died of his wounds. George was killed whilst on a train being transported to a new camp. The train was attacked by USAAF planes and he was killed by a bomb, along with many other prisoners of war.

16,000 Allied troops died building the Burma railway. British, Dutch, Australian and Americans were forced to work under armed guard.

Burma Railway Memorial Plaque © 2018 Andrew Ruppenstein. Source: The Historical Marker Database https://www.hmdb.org/
Burma Railway Memorial © 2007 Mark Wilson. Source: www.flickr.com

Itchenor

John Harker was a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery attached to the 301st Field Regiment, East African Artillery. He died, aged 29, when the SS Khedive Ismail was torpedoed by the Japanese Submarine I-27, in the Indian Ocean on February 12th 1944. Son of Philip and Barbara Harker of Itchenor, and husband of Mrs Daphne Harker of Hampstead, he is commemorated on The East Africa Memorial, Kenya.

On February 5th 1944,  Khedive Ismail sailed from Mombasa heading for Colombo. On board were 1,324 passengers, 996 of which were members of the East African Artillery’s 301st Field Regiment. As part of  the Convoy, KR 8,  Khedive Ismail was escorted by the Hawkins-class heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins and P-class destroyers HMS Paladin and HMS Petard. 

On February 12th the KR 8 convoy had reached the One and a Half Degree Channel, south-west of the Maldives, but was spotted by the Japanese submarine I-27. While the I-27 took Khedive Ismail’s position, a lookout sighted I-27’s periscope and raised the alarm. Khedive Ismail’s DEMS gunners opened fire on the submarine, as the I-27 returned four torpedoes, two of which hit Khedive Ismail.

THE DESTROYER HMS PETARD AT SEA, DECEMBER 1943 (A 21715) The destroyer HMS PETARD at speed. As seen from the carrier HMS FORMIDABLE. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205119793
HMS PALADIN (FL 9423) Underway Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205120765

The severe damage to her stern led to the ship sinking in only three minutes. Paladin lowered boats to rescue survivors, some of which were able to utilise floats that had floated away from the sunken ship.

Petard retaliated, releasing depth charges which forced the I-27 to the surface. The smaller Paladin reinforced the counter attack, which lasted two and a half hours. After Paladin suffered a gash to the hull while retreating, the I-27 took the opportunity to submerge under the dead and remaining survivors on the surface. The I-27 was finally destroyed after Petard released 7 torpedoes, sinking all on the submarine. Sadly, the continued attack on the I-27 killed more survivors from Khedive Ismail. From SS Khedive Ismail, only 208 men and 6 women survived the sinking and subsequent battle. It was recognised to be the largest loss of servicewomen, 77 in total, in the history of the Commonwealth, and the third largest loss of life from Allied ships during the war.

Brothers in Arms

 

To lose one son or daughter in a war is bad enough, but some families lost more than one. Here are the names of the brothers, cousins, a nephew, and an uncle, who were lost across the Manhood Peninsula.

Some are remembered in the road names in Selsey, remember them if you drive or walk up Hunnisett Close, Pennycord Close, or Donaldson Close.

(Siblings)

Alfred Percy Fullick August 1940

Frederick Roy Fullick May 1941

(their cousin)

Edward George (Jack) Fullick April 1942

~

(Siblings)

Leslie Egbers November 1942

Peter Egbers December 1943

~

(Siblings)

Donald Harry Hunnisett August 1943

Dick Hunnisett July 1944

~

(Cousins)

Jack Pennycord October 1939

Bert Pennycord April 1943

~

(Nephew and Uncle)

Louis Mitchell May 1940

Ernest Mitchell September 1943

~

(Siblings)

Lionel Perry July 1942

Gorden Perry March 1945

~

(Siblings)

Kenneth Edwards April 1944

George Edwards November 1944

~

(Siblings)

Charles Dowdy November 1942

Harry Dowdy February 1942


Post by Dr Lesley Bromley

July’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

August 4th, 2020 by Nikki

In the fourth month of our Find Wildlife From Home Survey, we surpassed 200 submissions! Some of these sightings were recorded at FLOW project improved wetland sites, by volunteers working independently. Thank you to those who have already signed up to return to surveying wildlife for the FLOW project, your time and efforts are really appreciated! Contact us at flow@mwhg.org.uk to learn more about independent surveying.

Read July’s survey results, below: 

 

Species 

No. 

Seen 

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) 

3 

Brown-lipped Snail (Cepaea nemoralis) 

1 

Blackbird (Turdus merula) 

2 

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) 

1 

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) 

1 

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) 

1 

Buff tailed bee (Bombus terrestris) 

7 

Buzzard (Buteo buteo) 

1 

Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 

1 

Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) 

1 

Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum) 

4 

Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) 

1 

Dunnock (Prunella modularis) 

1 

Elephant hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor) 

3 

Fox (Vulpes vulpes) 

1 

Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) 

20 

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) 

13 

German Wasp (Vespula germanica) 

2 

House Martin (Delichon urbicum) 

20 

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 

3 

Hoverfly (Various) (Syrphidae family) 

15 

Ichneumonidae Wasp (Pimpla rufipes) 

1 

Large White butterfly (Pieris brassicae) 

7 

Meadow Brown butterfly (Maniola jurtina) 

8 

Mining bee (Andrena species) 

1 

Patchwork leaf-cutter bee (Megachile centuncularis) 

1 

Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) 

3 

Red slug (Arion rufus) 

2 

Robber fly (Dioctria baumhaueri) 

1 

Robin (Erithacus rubecula) 

4 

Wood Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) 

1 

Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) 

5 

Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) 

2 

Six-Spot Burnet moth (Zygaena filipendulae) 

2 

Skipper butterfly (Hesperiidae family) 

1 

Small White Butterfly (Pieris rapae) 

1 

Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria) 

3 

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) 

2 

7-Spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata) 

17 

These wonderful photos were also submitted, during July:

 

 

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form.

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

Spring Summer Newsletter 2020

July 8th, 2020 by Nikki

This year’s spring summer newsletter is now out!

Our newsletter team has collated great stories and photos from our members and volunteers – thank you to those who contributed to this edition, despite the unusual and difficult events impacting us all this year.

Included in this newsletter are articles on VE day, updates from the Community Wildlife Officer and FLOW project leader, interesting wildlife sightings, plus handy bumblebee identification tips from the FLOW team’s bee expert.

View the Spring/ Summer 2020 Newsletter


You can read our previous newsletters on our website’s newsletter archive.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

If you would like to be notified when our newsletters are released, sign up below!

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June’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

July 1st, 2020 by Nikki

We are now into our third month of our Find Wildlife From Home Survey, and the submissions keep coming in! June brought even more hot weather to the peninsula, allowing our followers to record sightings both at home and further afield.

Read June’s submissions, below:

Species  Individuals 
Angle shades (Phlogophora meticulosa)  1 
Blackbird (Turdus merula)  6 
Black garden ant (Lasius niger)  20 
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)  1 
Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)  5 
Crane fly (Tipula oleracea)  2 
Dunnock (Prunella modularis)  3 
Fox (Vulpes vulpes)  4 
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)  15 
Hawthorn Shieldbug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale)  1 
Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)  5 
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)  3 
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  6 
Hoverfly (Diplazon laetatorius)  1 
Hoverfly (Myathropa florea)  1 
Hoverfly (Syrphus ribesii)  2 
Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria)  1 
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)  1 
Magpie (Pica pica)  1 
Mason wasp (Ancistrocerus gazella)  1 
Migrant Hoverfly (Eupeodes corollae)  1 
Mirid Bug (Deraeocoris flavilinea)  1 
Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)  1 
Robin (Erithacus rubecula) 1 
Semaphore fly (Poecilobothrus nobilitatus)  1 
Speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria)  3 
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 1 
Thick-legged flower beetle (Oedemera nobilis)  1 
Vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus)  1 
Wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)  2 
Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)  5 

 Take a look at the fantastic photos submitted in June:

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form.

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

May’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

June 1st, 2020 by Nikki

Our followers have been busy recording for the second month of our Find Wildlife From Home Survey, and we have now surpassed 100 submissions in total! Volunteers have also been borrowing the live-moth trap from FLOW project leader, Jane, to do moth counting from home alone, whilst others are helping to create GIS maps of data from our ditch surveys – thank you for helping us to collate and collect data on the Manhood Peninsula, during the lockdown period.

With a record breaking warm transition into Summer, it has been interesting to see which species you spotted during May. Here are the results of last month’s submissions:

Species

Individuals

Bat (Other) 

1 

Bee-fly (Bombylius major) 

1 

Blackbird (Turdus merula) 

6 

Buff Ermine moth (Spilosoma luteum) 

1 

Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) 

15 

Common carder bee (Bombus pascuorum) 

12 

Dunnock (Prunella modularis) 

3 

False Widow Spider (Steatoda grossa/ nobilis) 

1 

Field Cuckoo Bee (Bombus campestris) 

1 

Field Digger Wasp (Mellinus arvensis) 

1 

Flesh fly (Sarcophaga genus) 

1 

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) 

12 

Great Tit (Parus major) 

2 

Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) 

1 

Green-vein White (Pieris napi) 

1 

Hawthorn Shieldbug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale) 

1 

Hedgehog (Erinaceinae) 

1 

Holly Blue Butterfly (Celastrina argiolus) 

1 

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) 

8 

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 

12 

Hoverfly (Parhelophilus genus) 

2 

Hoverfly (Other) 

10 

Jumping Spider (Pseudeuophrys lanigera) 

1 

Juniper Sheildbug (Cyphostethus tristriatus) 

1 

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) 

1 

Magpie (Pica pica) 

2 

Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) 

6 

Mint moth (Pyrausta aurata) 

2 

Orange Tip Butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines) 

1 

Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io) 

3 

Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) 

1 

Robin (Erithacus rubecula) 

6 

Rose Aphid Greenfly (Macrosiphum rosae) 

Est. 100 

Small White butterfly (Pieris rapae) 

1 

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) 

1 

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 

3 

Wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) 

1 

Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) 

15 

Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) 

1 

Yellow-legged Mining bee (Andrena flavipes) 

9 

7-Spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata) 

1 

10-Spot Ladybird (Adalia decempunctata) 

1 

These superb photos were also sent in throughout May:

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form.

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

The Names on the War Memorial: Selsey 1939-1945

May 7th, 2020 by Nikki

Alan Dennis Abery, died 13th April 1940

Alan was one of the first Selsey boys to enlist in the services, volunteering for the Navy. Alan was a stoker on HMS Cossack, which was patrolling off the Norwegian coast in the spring of 1940.

HMS Cossack was part of a force of destroyers that advanced up Narvik Fjord, in Northen Norway, to attack some Nazi destroyers that were sheltering there. The attack was successful, and HMS Cossack destroyed a shore mounted howitzer gun. Alan was killed in the exchange of fire. He was 18 years old.

HMS COSSACK (FL 7087) Under tow. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205120571

 

Fred Brown, died autumn 1941 

Fred was originally from Lincolnshire, he joined the Navy as a boy sailor, in 1926. He married Gertrude Lawrence in 1932 and came to live in Selsey. 

He chose to serve on submarines and was on HMS Triton when war broke out. He rose to the rank of Petty Officer, and in 1940 he was serving in the Mediterranean. He was due for home leave in the autumn and set off on HMS Tetrarch, which was a submarine returning to Portsmouth. It never arrived. In December 1941 the Admiralty officially announced Tetrarch was lost.  

The likely resting place of the submarine is thought to be off the coast of Sicily, where the Germans had laid a large mine field. 

HMS TETRARCH (FL 5702) Alongside the coaling jetty at Blyth. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205120475

 

The Fullick Brothers 

Alfred Percy Fullick, died 8th August 1940 

Alfred Fullick. Selsey Remembers 1939-1945 published by the Selsey Society in 1995

Percy was part of a large Selsey family. He joined the Navy aged 24 at the outbreak of war. 

An able seaman on HMS Wilna, he was doing costal work. His patrol boat came under heavy attack from Luftwaffe planes while south-east of the Isle of Wight. Percy was killed during the exchange, and is buried in the Haslar Naval Cemetery. 

 

Frederick Roy Fullick, died 25th April 1941 

Frederik Roy Fullick, source: www.hmshood.com

Fredrick was the youngest of the Fullick brothers and he joined the Navy as a boy sailor straight from school. In 1941 he was an able bodied seaman on the battlecruiser HMS Hood. On the 24th of May, HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales sighted the German Battle Ship Bismarck travelling with the cruiser Prince Eugen, in the North Atlantic between Greenland and Iceland. A battle commenced, the Hood was vastly out gunned by the Bismarck and was hit in the middle of the ship, which split in two and sank immediately with a loss of over 1200 lives, including Fred. He was just 20 years old. 

On the 27th of May, after a three day chase, the Bismarck was sunk approximately 200 miles west of the French port of Brest. 

In 2016 the ships bell of HMS Hood was retrieved from the wreck and is now in the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The ship lies 1 and a half miles down in the Denmark Straight and the recovery was performed by a team using a remote vehicle. The recovery was organised by and funded by Paul G. Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. It is a memorial to all who died. 

HMS Hood 1924. Photographer: Allan C. Green 1878 – 1954, Restoration: Adam Cuerden

 

George Cox, Charles Charrett, and Francis Hugh Twycross Raines, died 25th November 1941

George moved to Selsey with his parents when he was 10 years old. Like so many, he joined the Royal Navy as a boy sailor at 15 years of age. When the war broke out he was an experienced able seaman. He served in the Mediterranean in 1941 aboard HMS Barham, a battle ship.

On the 25th of November, she was steaming off the Libyan coast when she was attacked with 4 torpedoes fired at close range by a German U-boat. The 31,500 ton battleship turned on her side and sank in less than 5 minutes. Most of the crew, including George at 32 years of age, were lost. 

Charles Charrett,  whose parents had retired to Selsey was also a regular Navy man, having joined as a boy sailor. He had been posted to HMS Mohawk, which had been sunk by an Italian destroyer, but had been rescued. He was then posted to HMS Barham and, like George Cox, went down with her, aged 29.  

Frances Hugh Twycross Raines was known as Hugh. Originally from South Bersted, his family moved to Selsey. He was commissioned in the Royal Navy, and was serving on HMS Barham as a Pay Midshipman. He was 22 years old when the Barham was sunk. 

The 25th of November 1941 was a hard day for Selsey. 

All three of these men are on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

HMS Barham. Photographed during the mid-1930s, following her 1931-34 reconstruction. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph #NH 63077

Pathé News newsreel cameraman, John Turner, was aboard the adjacent HMS Valiant during the shocking sinking of HMS Barham, and captured the final moments of the ship on film. The footage can be watched on the British Pathé YouTube channel, here. Viewer discretion is advised.

 

John William (Jack) Donaldson, died 9th June 1940

Jack was the second of four Donaldson brothers who grew up in Selsey. He was a regular RAF pilot having taken a short service commission in 1931. He was in the No. 1 Fighter Squadron. In 1938 he was promoted to Squadron Leader, and in 1940 saw action with 263 Squadron in Norway. He received the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry, for shooting down 6 enemy planes and putting 8 more out of action. 

During a second tour in Norway, using the same old fashioned biplanes, the Gloster Gladiators were brought to an end by the evacuation of the British forces from Narvik, on the 3rd of June. The pilots and aircraft were embarked on HMS Glorious, on the way home the Glorious accompanied by the destroyers Acasta and Ardent, encountered the German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, a furious battle ensued and Glorious and the two destroyers were all sunk with great loss of life, including Jack. 

Gloster Gladiator. Photo taken by an employee of the British government prior to 1956. Source: www.wikipedia.com
HMS Glorious. U.S. Naval Historical Photograph #NH6079. Source: www.wikipedia.com

 

Peter Frank Kennard-Davies, died 10th August 1940 

Born and bought up in Selsey, Peter had become a naval cadet at 16 years old, but was turned down because of eyesight problems. At the outbreak of war he joined the RAF. On the 3rd of August 1940 he joined the No. 64 Squadron based at Kenley in Surrey flighting a spitfire. His plane LI039 was shot down over West Langdon, he managed to bale out and was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital but he died of his wounds on the 10th of August. 

He was 19 years old.  

One of ‘The Few’

 

John Alfred (Jack) Pennycord, died 14th October 1939 

Jack was a regular Navy man before the war. At the outbreak of war he was serving on HMS Royal Oak, which was moored at Scapa Flow. On the night of 13/14th October 1939, a Nazi submarine U-47 infiltrated the harbour and torpedoed the Royal Oak. 810 of the 1234 officers and men were killed, including Jack. He was 32 years old, and left a wife and two daughters, the second of which was born a month after he was killed. 

Scapa Flow is a natural harbour in the Orkney Islands, it was a major naval base for the British Navy in the second world war. 

HMS ROYAL OAK (FL 12252) Underway. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205120981

 

Louis Hall Mitchell, died 28th May 1940

Eric Henry Tadd, died between 21st May and 8th June 1940

These two young men were killed during the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk 

Louis had joined the army at 14 as a boy soldier, and had served in India. He left the army and came to live in Selsey, but when the war started he was called up, as he was on the army reserve list, to join his old regiment the Royal East Kent. The East Kent formed part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). On May 10th the Nazis invaded Holland and Belgium pushing the BEF back to the coast at Dunkirk, where on the 27th May the evacuation started. There were not enough ships to remove the soldiers, so small ships from all along the south coast, fishing boats, pleasure crafts, yachts set off to Dunkirk to rescue as many men as possible. Sadly Louis was killed before he could be rescued.

Eric Tadd was born in Selsey, and was a groundsman at the Selsey Golf Club when he was called up and joined the Royal Engineers. His division was one of the two left behind in France after Dunkirk. He was killed in a battle in the Somme region of northern France. His exact date of death was unknown. He is buried in the War graves Cemetery in Abbeville. 

DUNKIRK 26-29 MAY 1940 (NYP 68075) British troops line up on the beach at Dunkirk to await evacuation. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205194324
DUNKIRK 1940 (HU 41241) Three of the armada of ‘little ships’ which brought the men of the BEF from the shores in and around Dunkirk, to the safety of British warships and other vessels. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205083524

 

Donald Harry Woodhouse Hunnisett, died 5th April 1943

Harry Richard (Dick) Stuart Hunnisett, died 21st July 1944

The Hunnisetts were a well known Selsey family. They owned the beach huts which stood on the cliffs in front of the Marne Hotel at the end of Hillfield Road, and rented out pleasure boats. Don and his brother Dick lived for the sea, he enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1940, and served on the mine-sweeping flotilla working along the Channel Coast. 

On the night of the 4/5th of August 1943 he was on a trawler ‘Red Gauntlet’ patrolling with other craft off the Thames Estuary. They were attacked by 7 enemy E boats and the Red Gauntlet was sunk off Harwich.  

Don’s body was recovered and permission was given for him to be buried at Church Norton. His Funeral in St Peter’s Church was a very special occasion, symbolising a special tribute to the many lives lost at sea where no funeral could be held.  

Dick was the elder brother and at the outbreak of war he joined the RAF and became a sergeant air gunner in Bomber Command. He survived many hazardous raids on Germany. He was serving in the No. 90 Squadron, flying in Lancasters. Following D-day he was flying a raid into enemy territory and was shot down on the 21st July near Eindhoven in Holland. He is buried there.

Minesweepers under Attack, Thames Estuary, October 1940
John Alan Hamilton (1919–1993). Photo credit: Imperial War Museums

Post by Dr. Lesley Bromley

April’s Results: Find Wildlife From Home Survey

May 1st, 2020 by Nikki

Spring is an excellent time to spot wildlife, as many species who hide away over winter will be emerging to reproduce. You have probably seen birds gathering nest material, perhaps found insect eggs on leaves while gardening, or have even heard male frogs croaking at night – all are positive signs of an active ecosystem.

The FLOW team would usually be going out with volunteers to record as much of this activity as possible, but instead are recording alone at home and on site. Due to social distancing measures, we called upon our followers to send us wildlife recordings, in place of attending our regular recording events – and they were quick to respond!

Here are the records we received, throughout April:

Species

Individuals 

Brown-tail moth caterpillars 

Est. 500 

Buff-tailed Bumblebee 

22 

Centipede (Necrophloeophagus longicornis) 

Chiffchaff 

Great tit 

Green-veined white butterfly  

Ground beetle (Poecilus variety) 

Honey bee 

17 

Hoverfly (Syrphus ribesii) 

Hoverfly (Other) 

Mining Bee (Yellow-legged) 

Mining Bee (Other) 

Rove beetle (Sepedophilus marshami) 

Small White butterfly 

Tree Slug  

2-spot ladybird 

We also recieved these fantastic photos:

 

Keep sending in your submissions, and if you haven’t taken part already, please share your sightings with us – every record received helps us build a more accurate picture of the Manhood Peninsula*.

How can I get involved with this survey?

Sending us a record of your wildlife sightings is simple, just make a note of the date and location of the sighting, and use these notes to fill out our ‘Enter a Quick Wildlife Record’ form. You can also submit a photo through this form. 

Enter a Quick Wildlife Record

Alternatively, you can upload multiple records at the same time, by filling in one of our recording sheets and submitting this through our ‘Upload Multiple Wildlife Records’ form.

Upload Multiple Wildlife Records
Wildlife Recording Sheet View Printable PDF
Wildlife Recording Sheet Download Fillable Form

*This survey is specifically receiving submissions of wildlife sightings seen on the Manhood Peninsula, below Chichester, which includes: Apuldram, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Wittering, South Mundham, plus West Itchenor and Birdham.

Eileen Savill Award 2020

April 16th, 2020 by Nikki

An annual award for young people under 25 years of age

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Deadline for entries is Friday 31st July 2020

The Award has two main aims: to recognise those who are already caring for local wildlife or heritage and to encourage others to get involved. This year is very much about the latter as, in these testing times, we want to encourage families to get in touch with nature at home. This will not only benefit wildlife but also your own well- being, as more and more research shows the health benefits of nature. And, hopefully, it will keep the children occupied, with the possibility of winning a prize as well! So here’s what we’d like you to do, choose a challenge and enter your results:

Challenge 1 (Under 16’s)

Create a new place [habitat] or habitats for wildlife in your garden.

Record how you made it in photos, videos, drawings or writing or in whatever way you like. 

Watch and record who is using it.

Challenge 2 (Under 16’s)

Keep a diary of the wildlife that’s visiting or living in your garden or neighbourhood, and describe what it is doing. Only brief notes are needed and recordings made in your neighbourhood should not take much time at all during your daily exercise away from home. 

Record this in any form: lists, photos, videos, sound recordings, artwork or any combination of these. 

Follow the links below for plenty of ideas of habitats to create and how to identify what you see.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden/

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/gardening

https://www.buglife.org.uk/get-involved/gardening-for-bugs/

https://www.ispotnature.org/

https://www.nhm.ac.uk/take-part/identify-nature.html

https://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/spotting-sheets

https://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/activity-sheets

Challenge 3 (16 – 24 year olds )

Try to record as many species as you can that live in or visit your garden by conducting an extended bio blitz. You might focus your attention on birds one day, then butterflies another and so on, or divide your garden up into its different habitats: pond, flower borders, trees, etc. and explore each in turn – whatever suits you best.

Record your findings in lists or on a spreadsheet, with accompanying photos, videos, sketches, diagrams, plans, sound recordings or anything you think adds to the information you’ve collected. 

Try https://www.ispotnature.org/ to help you identify what you find.


We want to be as flexible as possible this year so if you’ve got another idea for a challenge that will support wildlife or increase our understanding of it, do email us at chairman@mwhg.org.uk. Please email any queries to the organiser, Joe Savill, at chairman@mwhg.org.uk.

We will accept entries from all families, groups/ clubs and individuals who live on the Manhood Peninsula. Make sure you include your name(s) and age(s). For family entries, please include your family name and the names and ages of all the young people taking part. For all entries please also include your location [Town or village name].

Please keep videos submitted to around 90 seconds in length, at most, to avoid exceeding the file submission limit of 40MB. If you will be including multiple photos as part of your entry, please paste them into 1 document. You can upload 3 files per entry. 

Feel free to enter for more than one challenge – please submit a separate entry for each challenge. Submit your entries as soon as you like and it’s fine to send in submissions in stages.

Deadline for entries is Friday 31st July 2020

Prizes will be awarded for the best entries for each challenge, for different age ranges, with an overall winner of the Award selected from these.

We do hope to hold our usual presentation event later in the year, as usual.

Stay safe and enjoy the challenges!

Submit your entry here

Please provide an email address - winners will be contacted via email after the deadline.
If you are entering more than one challenge, please submit a seperate form for each challenge entered.
Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 3 files.
Try exporting your video/ audio/ photo files at a lower quality, if they exceed the maximum file size of 40MB. Files types accepted: .jpg, .png, .mp3, .mp4, .pdf, .doc, .docx, .xlsx, .xls

Contact details required for this competition are used solely to carry out administrative duties for the “Eileen Savill Award 2020” and will only be held for as long as necessary to provide this service. You may well be contacted for further details if the person/group you nominated is shortlisted for the award.

Presentation of the Eileen Savill Award winners 2019

Background to the Award

The Award is now in its 9th year. It is named after and commemorates the life of Eileen Savill.

Eileen Savill lived in Selsey for almost 50 years and devoted her life to encouraging young people by teaching for 23 years at Manhood School [now The Academy, Selsey]. She always saw the potential in young people and nurtured it, even when others had written certain young people off. She was a founder member of the MWHG and contributed artwork and photographs to many of the group’s publications. Eileen loved the area and was passionate about preserving and celebrating its heritage. She was also an active volunteer in many of Selsey’s groups, including the RNLI and Camera Club. She spent her life giving.

The Eileen Savill Award is supported by Vitacress

Important Update: Outdoor Volunteering Activities

March 29th, 2020 by Nikki

Updated 29/03/20

Due to recent government advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), our FLOW team leaders will be postponing all volunteering activities until further notice.

We will keep you updated on the status of our events and share updates from our Field Officers, who will undertake some conservation work alone. We look forward to seeing you all again, in future, and encourage you to help us monitor wildlife on the Manhood Peninsula (below Chichester), from home, by sending us details about your wildlife sightings at http://mwhg.org.uk/get-involved/surveying-the-manhood-peninsula/.

Please check https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response for the latest advice, as this guidance will take precedence over information stated in this notice.

Team Building Day in North Mundham

December 13th, 2019 by Nikki
Environment Agency Staff Installing Dead Hedge Stakes © Jane Reeve 2019

As a charity with over 20 years of experience in conservation, we have put on many training days to share our accumulated knowledge and skills on creating long lasting habitats for wildlife. For our FLOW project leader, Jane Reeve, these training sessions are a great opportunity to get people interacting with the outdoors while they learn both new and traditional methods of caring for the environment. 

Dead hedge at the North Mundham canal © Jane Reeve 2019

On December 6th, Jane took eight keen individuals from the Environment Agency (EA) out to the Arundel-to-Chichester canal in North Mundham, for a team building day of muddy (but fun!) work. The chair of North Mundham parish council, Tim Russell, and some of our regular volunteers, also took part. The main task for the day was to secure a newly created dead hedge, which stretches along the length of the canal. This natural barrier protects pedestrians from the steep sloping banks and helps to prevent litter and pollutants from entering the water.

Volunteers hammer wooden stakes into the ground © Jane Reeve 2019
Volunteers create a border of stakes for the hedge © Jane Reeve 2019

To ensure the hedge would survive the coming months, the EA team needed to hammer 125 heavy stakes into the ground, to support the piled branches. Despite the harsh weather conditions, everyone pulled together and made quick work of the task – FLOW field officer, Chris Drake, even had to leave the site to collect more stakes for the volunteers to install. After successfully completing the hedge work, the team took on some additional tree pruning and even pulled out a bench which had been thrown into the water, since the team’s previous working party at the canal.

 

Volunteers pruning falling branches © Jane Reeve 2019
Volunteers retrieving a tipped bench from the canal © Jane Reeve 2019

Thank you to the group from the Environment Agency, parish chairman Tim Russell and our awesome FLOW volunteers for securing the progress of this site, for the winter.

 

If you would like to get in touch about educational or team building days for your staff or students, contact us at hello@mwhg.org.uk.

 

Read about our previous work at this site: www.mwhg.org.uk/transforming-the-forgotten-north-mundham-canal/

 


The fantastic volunteers from North Mundham Parish Council, the EA and the FLOW project © Jane Reeve 2019

Post by Nicola Timney

Autumn Winter Newsletter 2019

December 11th, 2019 by Nikki
Sea Buckthorn Canal Walk by Felicity McStea

This year’s autumn winter newsletter is now out! Our newsletter team have received a great range of articles and photos from our members and volunteers, as well as words from our new trustee, Alex Ainge, and updates from our current wildlife and heritage project leaders.


Read the Autumn Winter Newsletter



Read a sneak peek of the newsletter, below.


Management Matters


The Selsey Photo Archive Project is progressing well, with about 4000 photos catalogued and several hundred scanned, ready for display on a new website which is being built now. Watch out for its launch next February. Photos from the collection formed the basis for an exhibition showing how Selsey High Street has changed, which we held over August Bank Holiday weekend in Selsey… with over 300 people attending. Many were very complimentary and often has wonderful stories and memories to share. Read more.


The HLF FLOW Project Update November 2019

 

In September 2019…we carried out some significant improvement work at one of the stretches of the relic canal in North Mundham…The result has been significant, and many people had no idea that there had been a canal here. We dug out a 70-metre section…removed trees, rubbish and undergrowth…to ensure a green corridor still exists for birds, invertebrates and small mammals, and also acts as a natural looking barrier to prevent further tipping. Read more.

 

 

East end of the canal, before and after.

 


Birdwatching for Beginners by Hugh Baggaley (Last Year’s Winner of the Eileen Savill Award)

 

Through creating and presenting the ‘Birdwatching for Beginners’ courses at RSPB Pagham Harbour I became aware that there are many people out there who are fond of birds, and are keen to learn more about them…My ethos for the outdoor teaching is to keep the groups small and friendly. It doesn’t matter what level of knowledge anyone may have. We go over how and where to find birds, how to identify them and interesting peculiarities about their habits and natural history. Read more.

 

You can read our previous newsletters on our website’s newsletter archive.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

If you would like to be notified when our newsletters are released, sign up below!
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Eileen Savill Award for Young People 2019: The Results

December 4th, 2019 by Nikki
MWHG Chair Joe Savill [L], Councillor Penny Plant [Centre, back], MWHG Trustee Gina Scott [Centre, R] and winners: Kathryn, Luke, Rachel, Pagham Seals group and Medmerry School pupils.
This year’s Eileen Savill Award for young people received so many fantastic nominations, that the judges decided to select 5 winners! The annual award, now in its 8th year, was created to celebrate young people, 25 years and under, who make a positive impact to the environment in their local area. The judges were looking to commend individuals who had taken part in activities including: practical conservation work, learning about the wildlife or heritage of the Manhood Peninsula, celebrating the local area through art, photography or writing, or campaigning on environmental issues that affect the area. 
 
On November 22nd, 30 friends and family of the winners and members of the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group (MWHG) met at the Selsey Centre to cheer them on and celebrate their efforts. Chichester District Council (CDC) Environmental Portfolio Holder, Councillor Penny Plant, presented their prizes. Following the award ceremony, Penny shared upcoming measures that CDC will undertake to reduce our negative impact on the environment, including plans to introduce food waste collection and recycling, directly from homes. She also explained the challenges of managing pollution within the Chichester area, such as the removal of fly tipped waste, which costs the council £350,000 every year.

MWHG Chair Joe Savill [L], Councillor Penny Plant [Centre, back], Overall Winner Kathryn Toms [Centre], MWHG Trustee Gina Scott [R]

The winners:

 
Overall winner and under 16 age group winner: Kathryn Toms, age 9, nominated by Robyn Thwaites (Tawny Owl), from the 2nd Selsey Brownie Pack.
 
Kathryn won the special award for regularly collecting litter on her route to school and encouraging her friends to keep their playing fields tidy. Also, Kathryn showed great activism by posting a photo of her full litter bag on the Selsey Community Facebook page to highlight the issue, as well as contacting the local authorities with concerns about plastic recycling. This resulted in an invitation for Kathryn and her Brownie pack to tour the recycling plant to learn more.
 
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Group Award: Pagham Seals RSPB Young Explorers Group (ages 7 to 13), nominated by George Carney.

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Joint Winner over 16 Group: Luke Parham volunteer for the RSPB, nominated by Steve Webster Manager, from RSPB Pagham Harbour.

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Joint winner over 16 Group: Rachel Horton, volunteer with MWHG’s FLOW Project. Nominated by FLOW Project Leader, Jane Reeve.

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Highly Commended: children from Year 4 Medmerry School, nominated by their teacher, Nick Ford.
 

The MWHG is excited to see how these individuals continue to campaign for the environment. Read about how last year’s winner, Hugh, has continued to volunteer and has even started his own business from his passion for birding, here on our blog.

 

The Eileen Savill annual Award was created by her family in 2012 to commemorate her work with young people, helping them overcome difficulties in their education and build on their strengths. She was a founder member of the Group and contributed artwork for many MWHG publications in order to celebrate the wildlife and heritage of the Manhood Peninsula.

 

This award is made possible thanks to our sponsor, Vitacress.


Post by Nicola Timney

9 Volunteering Questions from the FLOW Project Team

November 29th, 2019 by Nikki

The Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands (FLOW) project team would like to hear from you, to help us learn more about what motivates people to volunteer for charities.
 
Please take the survey* which is relevant to you, either the ‘Opinions on Volunteering Survey’ or the ‘FLOW Volunteer Feedback Form’, according to the descriptions below. 

If you have not volunteered for the FLOW project before, please take the ‘Opinions on Volunteering Survey’ to tell us about conservation issues which are important to you, what interests you about volunteering and which conservation projects you’d like to see us implement in future. This survey has 9 questions and is suitable for those who:

  • do not already volunteer for any charities
  • do volunteer for other charities
  • do volunteer for the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group, but not for the FLOW project

Take the ‘Opinions on Volunteering Survey’

If you have volunteered for the FLOW project before, please give us feedback on your experience of volunteering for the project, let us know where we can do better, tell us why this conservation work matters to you and describe any projects you’d like to see us create in future, via the ‘FLOW Volunteer Feedback Form’. This form has 9 questions, in total.

Complete the ‘FLOW Volunteer Feedback Form’


* These surveys are hosted by Survey Monkey and have been set to not record IP addresses, to keep your feedback anonymous. 

New Birding Blog: Wildlife with Hugh

November 20th, 2019 by Nikki
Eileen Savill Award 2019: [Back row, L to R] Ben (volunteer for Brent Lodge), Hugh (overall winner and volunteer for RSPB), [front row] [left] Joe Savill (Chairman of MWHG), [centre] Luke (from the Academy Selsey), [right] Chris Drake (FLOW Project Field Officer), [remaining four, left to right] Tiffany, Katie, Millie and Maddie (group from the Academy Selsey)
© Nicola Timney November 2018

Previously commended by the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group for his dedication to conserving and championing wildlife, 2018 Eileen Savill Award for Young People winner, Hugh Baggaley, is now utilizing his experience of volunteering with the RSPB at Pagham Harbour, to lead his own guided birding walks across West Sussex and Hampshire. So far, Hugh has taken small groups to a number of bird hotspots, including Chichester harbour, Medmerry and the Farlington marshes.

To compliment these walks, Hugh has now launched the website ‘Wildlife with Hugh’, to document the excursions and share his personal passion for the many different bird species found in the South of the UK. His weekly blogs describe individual bird encounters, with anecdotes and facts to interest both bird novices and keen birders, alike. Also featured on the website, are updates about bird surveys which Hugh carries out for local governing bodies and national conservation charities, plus visitors to the blog are able to book a place on upcoming guided walks.

Check out Hugh’s website, below:

www.wildlifewithhugh.blogspot.com/

 

This Friday November 22nd, the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group will be presenting its 2019 Eileen Savill Award winners with prizes, for their contributions to protecting and promoting the environment. The Group will look forward to seeing how the winners progress with their environmentally focussed projects, in the future. 


Post by Nicola Timney

Buckthorn for Brimstones: Get Involved with Transition Chichester’s Project

November 13th, 2019 by Nikki

Read about Mary Iden’s project and how you can help the brimstone butterfly.


Earlier this year, I organised a project ‘Transition Chichester Buckthorn for Brimstones’, which aimed to encourage people to plant one or more alder buckthorns in their gardens, allotments, farms etc. Alder buckthorn and common buckthorn are the only food plants for brimstone butterfly caterpillars, alder buckthorn being possibly better suited to the soils round Chichester. More than 300 bushes were planted in the area as a result………but there will always be room for more!

If you are interested in planting one or more alder buckthorns during this planting season, please email me (Mary Iden) at tcbuckthornforbrimstones@gmail.com as soon as possible, telling me how many you would like (so I know roughly how many to order), and giving me your postcode (so I can plot all the plantings on a Google map). Once the order has arrived from the nursery, I will let you know. You can then collect the bare-rooted bush(es) from my front garden in central Chichester – bring a plastic bag to put them in – and push the payment of £1.50 per bush through my front door.

Please see the information sheet, below, about buckthorn and brimstones, for advice on how to care for them.

Transition Chichester Buckthorn for Brimstones Project Information Sheet

 

FLOW News Bulletin 10 October 2019

November 6th, 2019 by Nikki

 

We have been carrying out lots of species surveys, habitat surveys and events over the spring/summer season  

 

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.

 

Read the pdf version of this edition here.

 

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.

Hunston Pond

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.

 

Ditch Surveying

 

Hunston

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.



North Mundham

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.

 

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 What’s next for the winter season of 2019–2020?

North Mundham canal after clearing

Hedgehog Hall

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

Eco Chi stall with Transition Chichester

 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 hello@mwhg.org.uk

We welcome your feedback – please let us know what you think of our e-bulletin by emailing hello@mwhg.org.uk

 

North Mundham Gala and Flower Show

Community Orchard Information Session

North Mundham Information Session

Binstead Strawberry Fair

 

 

Selsey Great British Beach Clean Results 2019

November 6th, 2019 by Nikki

Volunteers and local litter prevention campaigners gathered in Selsey for the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Great British Beach Clean weekend, on September 21st. The annual litter picking event allows organisations to collect large amounts of data, on a national scale, about the types of waste and pollution affecting our beaches. Sarah Hughes, Chichester District Council’s (CDC) Community Wildlife Officer, organised the clean and survey at East Beach, under the CDC and Southern Water ‘Selsey Bathing Water Enhancement Project’, with the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group (MWHG) attending to help run the event.  

Volunteers preparing to start the beach clean © Nicola Timney 2019

The day of the litter pick was due to be sunny and warm, however organisers were met with very intense onshore winds and a rolling sea, preventing the Mulberry Divers from completing their underwater litter pick. Instead, the divers joined MWHG volunteers and the CDC community wardens to initiate arriving volunteers and to prevent the Against Litter tent from blowing away! Despite the conditions, 48 undeterred volunteers turned up to take part and, once split into teams, they set off to clean and survey the beach. Upon returning, the volunteers were given a free BBQ as a thank you for their hard work, generously cooked by the Selsey & District Lions with produce from local butchers, Ian Francis and Sons.

Selsey & District Lions Club serving the BBQ © Nicola Timney 2019

While the beach clean was underway, volunteers and the passing public were able to visit mobile exhibitions on display, from Southern Water and the West Sussex County Council’s (WSCC) Waste Prevention Team. The exhibitions showcased different ways to recycle and keep bathing waters clean, and beach goers were given free eco-friendly products, including bamboo toothbrushes, plus waste-saving food recipes, to take home. A special sculpture, created from old household materials by WSCC’s Waste Prevention Team member Adam Swain, was also on show. The longevity of this piece serves as a reminder for the lasting effects of short-term use plastic, particularly on wildlife. Sparky the cormorant has a beak made from the end of a hoover and wings crafted from the casings of unwanted remote controls. See if you can spot the other electrical items used to build Sparky’s body. 

Sparky the cormorant by Adam Swain © Nicola Timney 2019

Once the beach clean was finished, the volunteers returned with 31kg of rubbish, totalling over 700 pieces of litter. The haul came to slightly less than the 32kg of rubbish collected the previous year, which had consisted of over 900 individual pieces. Volunteers who are familiar with the beach noted that the shingle seemed in better condition than it was during the 2018 East beach clean and that most litter was distributed further away from the beach front, where the footfall is higher and food is consumed more often. Common items found included 92 pieces of food and drink packaging, 99 bits of polystyrene, 56 pieces of fishing equipment, and 14 bags of dog faeces. See the full results compared with last year’s survey, below.

Click on the charts to see the information in full screen mode.

2018 Results


2019 Results


Common Litter Items Found

2018

2019

Cigarette stubs

194

20

Plastic pieces <2.5cm

112

60

Plastic pieces >2.5cm <50cm

88

26

Fishing paraphernalia pieces

77

56

Plastic and metal caps/ lids

74

28

Plastic rope pieces

68

48

Plastic and foil food wrappers

65

52

Plastic cutlery/ straws

46

21

Bagged dog faeces

36

14

Metal scraps, barbed wire and mesh pieces

31

28

 

The MWHG are very thankful to those who came out to take part in the survey and support the running of the event – your efforts make a big impact on the health of this local beach! As you can see from the results, keeping beaches and water clear of pollutants and waste is an ongoing process, so please join us again next year for the Great British Beach Clean and see the links below for tips on how to keep your local beach clear of litter.

 

Marine Conservation Society: www.mcsuk.org/how-you-can-help/

2 Minute Beach Clean: www.beachclean.net/why

Against Litter Campaign: www.chichester.gov.uk/againstlitter


Post by Nicola Timney

New Volunteering Opportunities: Fundraising, Team Leading and Marketing

October 10th, 2019 by Nikki

For over 20 years, our charity has implemented a range of volunteer-led projects which preserve the wildlife and heritage of the Manhood Peninsula, south of Chichester. We are currently looking for motivated individuals to take on key voluntary leadership roles within our Group, to promote and support the expansion of this vital conservation work. 

If you are interested in taking on one of the following volunteering opportunities, please contact Leanne Clements, our Community Conservation Project Officer, at:

T: 07798 618575
E: lclements@mwhg.org.uk

Volunteer Co-ordinator

The volunteer co-ordinator will work to recruit, induct and train volunteers. They will take a friendly approach to volunteer engagement and organise volunteering activities. 

Read the full volunteer co-ordinator role description here. 

Events Team Leader

Our events team leader will be responsible for supporting other team members in planning events, as well as coordinating their own events, with a view to increase opportunities for learning and engagement with the wider community.

Read the full events team leader role description here.

Events Assistant

The events assistant will join the events team leader and other team members, in attending local events. The assistant will enthusiastically promote the work and aims of the group.

Read the full events assistant role description here. 

Community Fundraising Team Leader

The community fundraising team leader will co-ordinate approaches with the community fundraising assistant to raise unrestricted funds, process grant applications and develop our online giving. 

Read the full community fundraising team leader role description here.

Community Fundraising Assistant

Our community fundraising assistant will use marketing skills and create promotional material, to raise funds. The assistant will work with the community fundraising team leader and will support local people who wish to fundraise for us. 

Read the full community fundraising assistant role description here. 

Work Party Team Leader

The work party team leader will be trained to run practical conservation activities across the Manhood Peninsula, for small groups of volunteers. Ensuring the safety of volunteers at events is a key responsibility for this role.

Read the full work party team leader role description here. 

Transforming the Forgotten North Mundham Canal

October 4th, 2019 by Nikki

The FLOW (Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands) Project team began their ambitious autumn/ winter 2019 work schedule of restoring wetland across the Manhood Peninsula, with a plan to revitalise the relic North Mundham canal. 

The abandoned stretch of canal, part of the Arundel and Chichester canal, was chosen as a prime site to develop for its potential to both prevent ground-flooding in the surrounding area and become a bio-diverse ‘corridor’ for wildlife to inhabit. 

A digger drives into the canal to remove built-up silt © Jane Reeve 2019

The first point of action for the team, was to increase the canal’s water holding capacity using well proven techniques of digging out high silt deposits and removing vegetation which has encroached into the water. For these stages of work, experts from MT-Excavations and Blue Cedar Tree Surgeons, were brought in. Prior to this work, the canal could barely be seen!

Before removal of overgrow vegetation (east end view of the canal) © Jane Reeve
After removal of overgrown vegetation (east end view of the canal) © Jane Reeve
Before (west end view) © Jane Reeve
After (west end view) © Jane Reeve

Also joining the FLOW team, were enthusiastic volunteers ready to tackle the huge task of clearing the relic stretch of the canal, which had become filled in overtime due to neglect. Green material left over from this landscaping was re-used by the volunteers to create a dead-hedge and natural barrier, between the path and canal. 

Volunteers cut-back vegetation overshadowing the relic canal and public footpath © Jane Reeve
Dead hedge creation in progress, after clearing the relic canal area © Jane Reeve

In just a few days, the FLOW team and their incredible volunteers made a huge difference to the canal. 

FLOW work every Wednesday to Saturday over autumn and winter, to transform many un-managed wetland sites across the Peninsula, beneath Chichester. In the spring, they follow up this landscaping work by planting trees and other native flora and in the summer, they survey these locations for wildlife, to monitor the effectiveness of their work. 

Learn more about this project and how to get involved:

FLOW Field Officer, Chris Drake (left), with volunteers on a well-earned break © Jane Reeve

Post by Nicola Timney

Dear Subscribers: Transitioning to MailChimp Emails

September 6th, 2019 by Nikki

Dear Members, Volunteers and Subscribers to Our Newsletter,


Please note that you will start receiving our communications, currently sent out by Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group [MWHG] member Pam Barnes, through the email marketing service, Mailchimp. Any emails you receive from us via Mailchimp will have been written and sent by the familiar staff, members and project leaders, who currently correspond with you.


Emails from us will be delivered from ‘Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group’, contain a reply-to email address ending in ‘@mwhg.org.uk’ and will contain our registered office details at the end of the email: ‘55 High Street, Selsey, West Sussex PO20 0RB’. Options to change your email preferences or to unsubscribe, plus links to sign up to our other subscriptions will also be available at the end of each email. Emails will transition to being delivered through Mailchimp, from September 16th 2019 – please check your email account’s promotions and spam folders, if you do not see correspondence from us after this date.


Members


If you have previously signed up as a member, either online through our website or via a paper form, you will receive emails regarding membership related news and events. By continuing to subscribe to this membership news, your membership status is confirmed on our database.

Volunteers


If you have previously signed up to be a volunteer on our website, have been a volunteer who has asked a project leader to email through upcoming events to you, or if you expressed an interest in volunteering when signing up to be a member, you will receive volunteer related news and events. By continuing to subscribe to this volunteering news, your volunteer status is confirmed on our database.


Newsletter Subscribers


If you have previously signed up to be a member, as stated above, or have signed up to receive the newsletter via the subscription form on our website, you will receive all new newsletter releases. By continuing to subscribe to the newsletter, your subscription status is confirmed on our database.


Why the Change to Mailchimp?


By transitioning to using the Mailchimp service to manage membership and volunteer contact details, we will not only be able to deliver secure email communications with our supporters, but we will also be able to bring you news at a frequency of your choice and we can interact with you through our emails more directly. For example, emails regarding upcoming events will allow you to ‘click and confirm’ your attendance, within the email itself.


Mailchimp is an established service used by many organisations – you likely receive a number of emails delivered by Mailchimp already, sometimes with their logo removed from the email itself – which takes subscriber’s data privacy seriously. Read Mailchimp’s privacy policy here: https://mailchimp.com/legal/privacy/


Please do not hesitate to send any questions you may have regarding this change, to Nicola Timney at: hello@mwhg.org.uk

Nature’s Positive Impact on Mental Health: Kim’s Story

August 27th, 2019 by Nikki
© Nicola Timney

This article was featured in our 2019 Spring Summer Newsletter – read the full newsletter here.


Life is a Ditch

 

Hi, a little about me; I’m Kim, 61 years old and this is how I found MWHG and how it has helped me through a traumatic time.

For 7½ years, along with my husband Mick, I travelled France, Spain, Scotland and all over England in our large motorhome. We did this full time as we sold the family home. During our travels we had come across lots of different sites of nature in the countryside of Europe and the UK. We are very avid walkers and love wildlife, flora, fauna and take an interest in the environment.

We sold the motorhome last June 2018 and moved permanently to West Wittering in July. We were keen to meet new friends and explore the area. It was on one of our walks that we came across a leaflet at The Wad, regarding volunteering for MWHG. After discussing it I emailed Jane Reeve who emailed back with details of the next group working at Itchenor Pond in Dec 18 / Jan 19. We went along in the afternoon and met Christopher Drake and the team of volunteers. He chatted to us about the work and introduced us to the members. This really whetted our appetite and we decided we wanted to join this wonderful worthwhile group, which we did in January 2019.

The work is very varied and can be quite hard at times, but we get a lovely “green workout” – no need for the gym! The work involves digging, planting wetland plants, clearing invasive weeds, planting trees, scattering wildflower seeds and grasses, and of course watering where we can. We work every Wednesday, 9.30am – 3.00pm and some Thursdays and Saturdays. I don’t do a Friday as I have counselling on that morning due to reasons I will explain later. We have done ditch surveys with Christopher which is so interesting and made us realise how important surveying these ditches are. We take our grandchildren out on walks when we have them and always take bags and litter pickers with us (supplied by Jane). The two young ones, Elsie aged 8, and Matilda aged 3, are so excited about this and always ask to go litter picking. They are like little sponges and are so eager to learn about nature and saving the planet. They have both made posters for Jane about littering, plastic and how it is damaging the planet.

Just recently while visiting Triangle Pond, Birdham, to see how the planting was coming along, we met a gentleman walking his dog. He stopped us to chat about the wonderful job the volunteers (along with Jane and Christopher) had done and I was proud to say I was part pf the group.

During a recent visit to Chichester Canal we were lucky enough to see three water voles and as we know they are in decline we were absolutely thrilled, and I managed to get a clear video recording of one swimming across the canal. We have recently had a wonderful day out with the group to Binsted Woods surveying dormouse and the day was perfect with very knowledgeable wonderful people.

We are always provided with tea, coffee and cakes and they get special cakes for me as I am gluten free. Everything is provided; gloves, tools etc. I would highly recommend volunteering for this wonderful group.

I have suffered from depression (counselling on Fridays) due to childhood abuse by my adoptive father as a young child and young adult. After he died in October 2017 I went to pieces and finally told my doctor who referred me to PARCS for counselling. Joining the MWHG had “saved” me so I can put everything into the work, which keeps me focused and stops me thinking of what has happened to me.

Kim

Thank you for sharing this personal experience, Kim. It is proof in action that involvement with nature can help mental as well as physical health. The Editor [MWHG Newsletter]

Info and Activities at Eco Chi’s Market Stall

August 18th, 2019 by Nikki

Our Communications and Engagement Officer, Emily, will be joining the Eco Chi Stall situated near Chichester Market Cross on Wednesday 28th August. The stall is run by Transition Chichester’s Eco Chi Group. More info can be found here.

 

Emily will be there to deliver information about the Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands project, and to talk to people about the importance of our local wetlands and resident wildlife. Emily also has a growing background in wild pollinators and botany, so can answer any questions you may have about gardening for wildlife and wildflowers. There will be some fun wildlife-focused activities for children also including mask making and insect ID games!

 

Wednesday 28th August

12pm – 4pm

The “Eco Chi” Market Stall

North Street, near Chichester Market Cross

 

Please email esabin@mwhg.org.uk for more information on this event.

North Mundham Parish Drop-in Information Session

August 18th, 2019 by Nikki

The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group invite you to join us for our North Mundham Parish Drop-in Information Session.

Find out what we are doing in North Mundham this year and why we are surveying wildlife on 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 5th September 2019

7pm – 8:30pm

North Mundham Village Hall

PO20 1LA

Refreshments provided

For more info on this event, please email hello@mwhg.org.uk

August Bank Holiday Weekend Selsey Heritage Exhibition

August 16th, 2019 by Nikki

Our Changing High Street

This August Bank holiday weekend, stop by our exhibition at the Selsey Pavilion to see a collection of photos showing the transformation of the high street! The exhibition is open to visitors between 10am – 4pm Sat 24th & Sun 25th and from 10am – 2pm Mon 26th.

Read about our Selsey Photo Archive Project and how you can get involved. 

The Re-introduction of White-tailed Eagles

July 2nd, 2019 by Nikki
White-tailed Eagle

 

This article was featured in our 2019 Spring Summer Newsletter – read the full newsletter here.


The Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and Forestry England have recently been granted a licence by Natural England to re-introduce white-tailed eagles Haliaeetus albicilla to the Isle of Wight. The five-year programme will begin with the release 6-8 juvenile birds this summer. It is hoped to establish a small base population in the Solent area from Poole to Pagham, with birds eventually spreading out along the South Coast. Studies in the Nederland’s have shown that the species are content to nest in populated areas.

White-tailed eagle prey on fish and water birds but will also scavenge readily. Most of the water birds taken by eagles are thought to be injured or sick, with carrion making up around 30% of their diet during the winter months. Fish form an important part of the birds’ diet during the spring and summer, when we can expect to see them fishing for abundant species like grey mullet Mugil cephalus, found within the shallow waters of our estuaries and harbours.

Disturbance caused by the eagles to wading birds is understood to be similar to that of peregrine falcons Falco peregrinus. Prey species quickly become accustomed to their presence, if they are not so already – breeding colonies of gulls and terns are very adept at mobbing and driving off the eagles.

As well as the conservation benefits, it has been shown that in areas where white-tailed eagles have been re-introduced previously, they have generated significant benefits for the local economy. The Isle of Mull for example, receives up to £5 million per year through eagle related tourism.

I will be looking out excitedly for these birds later in the year. With their impressive 2 m – 2.4 m wingspan supporting a 3.5 kg – 7.4 kg bird, they will be certain to turn a few heads!

Sources:

www.roydennis.org/isleofwight

www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/white-tailed-eagle


Post by Nick Gray

Newsletter Spring Summer 2019

June 11th, 2019 by Nikki

Download the PDF version

Management Matters

As last issue, I would like to begin by welcoming a new member to our staff team. Leanne Clements has joined us as our new Community Conservation Officer, replacing Jan Atkinson. I know that many of you have already met Leanne or communicated with her and she’s been delighted with your warm welcome. The main purpose of her post – funded by the Postcode Local Trust and the Tesco Bags of Help scheme – is to set up independent volunteer groups in other parishes of the Manhood. This has always been a central aim of the group, but apart from the ASHE group – thanks especially to Veronica Wilkes – our established groups are still Selsey based. The extensive Manhood-wide work of the FLOW Project has now created the opportunity to develop these new groups so our hopes are high.

The Management and FLOW teams have been planning events for the summer. So, amongst others, look out for more details of Love Parks Week, including activities at East Beach Pond and Manor Green Park in June, Lifeboat Day at the beginning of August and a Selsey Heritage Exhibition at the end. If you would like to help with any of these events, do get in touch.

As FLOW progresses, thoughts are now turning to succession planning. The Management Team is determined to ensure that the phenomenal efforts of Jane, Chris, Emily and all their wonderful volunteers are built upon. Ideas are being developed, so watch this space.

Other updates include the Management Team’s submission to the Chichester District Council Local Plan consultation, in which we strongly supported the establishment of the Strategic Wildlife Corridors proposed. Huge congratulations go to Sarah Hughes and her colleagues at CDC for their detailed work in developing these. Also a new Safeguarding Children Policy has been produced – thanks to Val Gatehouse – and is available in the Members Only section of the website. It applies to all volunteers so do have a read.

As I write this, I’m still digesting David Attenborough’s powerful documentary: ‘Climate Change: The Facts’ and thinking about the world my granddaughter may inherit. I for one will be increasing efforts to reduce my carbon footprint and continuing to add my voice to all the others demanding action now. As a group, we can take comfort in all the carbon capturing trees we are planting and wildlife observations we are recording – these help to build a picture of how nature is coping with a changing climate. But, climate change is the greatest threat to all the work we’ve done, and continue to do, for wildlife on our low-lying peninsula.

Finally, please keep using your blue Co-op members’ card when you shop in Selsey Co-op and others. When I last looked, more than £370 had been raised for us so far.

All the best and have a great summer.

Joe Savill

chairmt@mwhg.org.uk

Community Conservation Officer

Last year a bid to the Postcode Local Trust was successful which enabled the appointment of a Community Conservation Officer to deliver a twelve-month project. I was delighted to be selected for this exciting role. Nature and heritage conservation is a huge passion and I have been fortunate to have spent the last twenty plus years working in senior leadership positions for the RSPB in Dorset, the National Trust in Wiltshire and as Director of Amberley Museum. I run a small building business with my partner Rich from our ‘wildlife surrounded’ home in Parham, near Amberley, I am a devoted (and often exhausted!) auntie of three, I love walking the South Downs with our two dogs and can’t resist a quality G&T.


©  Leanne Clements

My role is all about working to ensure a sustainable volunteering future for the group, engaging our local community to help keep the Manhood Peninsula special. Since starting at the end of February I have been identifying the most urgently needed volunteering opportunities which will provide support and sustainability. The primary focus is on setting up Parish-led volunteer groups across the Peninsula, creating deep and lasting relationships and secondly on recruiting volunteers for roles which directly help the management team and Trustees, including volunteer coordination and communications, work party team leaders, and events and fundraising teams.

I would love to hear from you if you have any ideas and suggestions, if you know a friend or relative who would be keen to join us, you may even be interested in helping in an additional or different way yourself. If you would like to chat about new volunteering opportunities or learn more about the Community Conservation Project do get in touch at lclements@mwhg.org.uk

Leanne Clements MWHG Community Conservation Officer

Project Officer’s Update

I had an excellent start to the New Year, obtaining my hazel dormice licence, which entitles me to survey these amazing creatures for scientific or educational purposes and I received a ‘Individual Award for Exceptional Service’ from Chichester District Council. Working together we can achieve so much positive action for our precious and vital wildlife. I have had the pleasure of working with a range of groups, which include; County/District & Parish Councils; wildlife groups; Men’s sheds; local residents and developers.

Over the winter period I continued with the engagement of dog walkers at Chichester Harbour, highlighting the important role we have as dog walkers not to disturb the protected winter waders from feeding and resting, as this is just one of many pressures they are under.

I continue to work in schools, with a range of wildlife focused sessions, this is heart-warming as these little people are passionate about wildlife, their planet and the positive role they can play.

Great thanks and appreciation go to Trevor, Chris and Tom, who covered my session of hedgelaying at Tuppenny Barn and did an amazing job. Also thanks to Keith and Georgie (Chichester Harbour Conservancy) for covering the tree planting session at Apuldram Church and for their assistance (with the Friends of Chichester Harbour) at the ditch/hedgerow in Southbourne.

As always the Sussex biological recorders’ seminar in February was the yearly tonic for any negativity, as seeing so many amazing, passionate volunteers/ecologists etc. shows all is not lost so long as we work together. We were fortunate to promote the proposed Wildlife Corridors, enabling us to ask for help with gathering further vital evidence for this policy to be adopted in the Local Plan.

Sand Piper © Alun Lee

I am surveying the corridors between Chichester Coastal Plain and the South Downs National Park. This has been an amazing experience, exploring and recording wildlife with a team of volunteers.
The highlights have included water voles (obviously); bats; birds (including the Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos); insects etc. and ancient woodland/hedgerow indicators, such as Dog Mercury Mercurialis perennis; Wood Anemone Anemone nemorosa and Butcher’s Broom Ruscus aculeatus. This shrub has spikey looking leaves, but they aren’t leaves, but modified stems. The flowers come out of what looks like the middle of the leaf, which is related to the lily and was used by butchers to clean the butchers block. It grows in ancient woodland in soil that hasn’t been disturbed for centuries.

This summer I will be back in Selsey promoting the Selsey Bathing Water Enhancement Project, which includes ‘Yellow Fish’ & ‘Rain Down the Drain’.

This project will clarify to the general public in and around Selsey about how an outdoor drain is different than a household drain, where it goes and why you can’t pour waste substances down them. Road and surface water drains are designed to carry only rainwater, usually to the nearest watercourse. Pouring waste liquids such as engine or cooking oil, paints, chemical wastes, detergents and even litter down these drains causes pollution to enter the watercourse, affecting water quality and harming fish and wildlife.

Under the ‘Yellow Fish’ campaign we will spray paint ‘Yellow Fish’ stencils on the drains that affect East Beach Pond and Selsey Bathing Waters; working in schools and with local groups and organisations over the summer period, finishing with a beach clean and survey at East Beach Pond in September, under the Marine Conservations Society’s Big Beach Clean.

‘Yellow Fish’ – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/avoiding-pollution-yellow-fish-scheme ‘Only Rain Down the Drain’ – http://lovemybeach.org/rain-down-the-drain/

Again, it is down to volunteers that so much positive work, benefiting wildlife can be achieved and it is such a pleasure working with them.

A big THANK YOU to all volunteers.

Sarah Hughes

Congratulations on receiving CDCs Individual Award for Exceptional Service, very well deserved! The Editor

The MWHG HLF FLOW Project

IMPROVEMENT WORK OVER THE WINTER PERIOD OCTOBER 2018 – MARCH 2019

We have had the busiest work period ever and the hard work and commitment of our volunteers has been awe-inspiring. We are making a huge difference and our work can now be seen in seven parishes.

Sidlesham Parish

One of our most visible sites is Willow Glen on the B2145 in Sidlesham and we have completely changed the look of this site by cutting back and removing willow, digging it out and deepening the base, planting a mixed native fruiting hedge along the back, seeding with wildflowers, installing coir rolls and a range of wetland plants.

We have worked on a relic pond on Ham Road called Sheepwash pond that was so overgrown that no pond was visible. Once checked on tithe maps the outline shape could be seen. The only clue there had been a pond was the willow. Volunteers worked hard to open this area up and then a digger came in and started work. A deep area was created and then the rain came so we will continue this work next season. A dead hedge was put at the front to use the material generated and to form habitat, and also to offer this site attractive to fly tippers some protection.

Last year when surveying the Sidlesham parish we came across a large ditch with a wide verge at The Elms, Ham Road, which had not been managed for 30+ years and which was dark and dried up and very shallow. After a BioBlitz to record species in the summer, we carried out clearance work and then used contractors to remove some of the willow and dig out the ditch. We then seeded with wildflowers, installed a coir roll and planted lots of wetland plant species. The adjacent road has experienced much flooding in the past but with a large grip put into the verge the water now drains into the ditch and is held there.

The FLOW team were contacted by WSCC Highways about an area of Ham Road / Easton Lane that flooded continually, and we came up with a plan to reinstate a pond that had been on the 1846 tithe map to hold some of the water off the road. We carried out the digging work and WSCC put in a new headwall to protect the culvert under the road. We have since planted it with wild fruit trees, a coir roll and wetland plant species to try and combat the high levels of nitrates and phosphates suspected to be coming off the adjacent fields.

Hunston parish

We have been working on Spire Cottage pond in Church Lane to improve its biodiversity and this year we dug it out so that it can hold water for longer. We have now planted a mixed native fruiting hedge to protect it and to make it looked loved and also created small copses by grouping trees. We have planted coir rolls and wetland plants here and are getting the local community involved in species surveying of the site.

West Wittering

We have been working on the large wetland area at Cakeham Manor Estates since the start of the project and divided up the site into three sections, working on one area each year. We finished the last of our big work this year and so in the future light management only should be required. We always had strong support from local residents at this site and all our hard work has been rewarded with water voles moving in and kingfishers flying the length of the waterway. We have cleared areas of the bank of Hemlock Water Dropwort and then seeded with wildflowers. We have also installed coir rolls and wetland plants.

We were approached by West Wittering Estates to manage a stretch of wetland that they own adjacent to that of Cakeham Manor Estates. They saw what we had created there and asked us for management help. We discovered some invasive species which we have taken steps to remove and then applied for planning permission to get some willow and sycamore pollarded. The Estate then brought in a tree surgeon who carried out the work and left all the wood onsite. We went in and created a dead hedge to use up this material and also to protect the site from dogs and people and to become linking habitat.

East Wittering and Bracklesham

We have been working on a large pond at Hilton Business Park as this has potential to hold a lot of water year-round. We had previously used many volunteer sessions opening it up and this year started digging it out in October – and then the rain came! We will have another go later this year, but it is responding well, and local residents tell us it is a hot pot for wildlife now.

The long ditch in Tile Barn Lane was identified as having potential during our ditch surveying phase and we have worked hard on it to open it up using volunteers, dig it out with contractors, plant a new mixed native hedge, seed it and put in wetland plants. We hope to see a real biodiversity increase here and already water crowsfoot has moved in without our help so hoping water voles find it suitable in a year or two.

A small but linking pond on the Bracklesham road corner had trees removed from it last year and this year we asked the landowner to dig it out. Spinney Pond still needs further digging and we hope to do this at the end of the year as it still did not retain water over the winter.

Bracklesham Barn ditch was worked on this year to open up one side of the bank and remove all the debris and rubbish that we find on this site. Volunteers removed bramble and litter and we reinforced the dead hedge along the edge to try and create some protection.

Earnley

In the Somerley area of Earnley Parish there has been persistent flooding and we have tried to create more tanking areas using relic ponds while also improving the wetland value of the areas. Sparrow Cottage has been a site where we have reinstated a relic ditch, planted a wildflower bank, put in a linking pond, cut back some shading trees over a rife and ditches, and planted wetland plants and installed coir rolls. The site has responded, and water voles are now using the rife where previously there were no signs as there was little light and no diversity of plants.

Hedgehog Hall pond is linked to Sparrow cottage and we have just started to work here, opening it up and taking back some of the trees to get more light in. towards the end of the year we hope to carry out some digging work to deepen it so it will hold water for longer.

Mill Pond house is in the same area as the two above properties and has a large pond in it that was dug out to improve tanking by the Parish Council. We had added some wetland plants so that it becomes a piece of valuable wetland for water voles and other species.

Haydons pond has been on our radar for a while and we have started to manage it. We have opened it up and reduced the height of some of the leaning willows and it maybe dug out later this year. We are mindful the rare oak aphid lives on an oak tree on an island within the pond. We hope the pond will improve in biodiversity with more light let in.

West Itchenor Parish

We continue to advise the Parish council on management of the West Itchenor village pond and have carried out monthly working parties opening up key areas, removing Hemlock Water Dropwort, planting a native species hedge, installing stakes and binders, coir rolls and a greater range of wetland plants. Water voles have now moved into the pond after being absent for nearly twenty years so we must have been doing something right!

Birdham Parish

We have three linked ponds in Birdham that we have been working on with the parish to improve their biodiversity and to increase their water holding capacity. Kingfisher pond has been transformed with willow removal, coir rolls and digging out.

Birdham Village pond has been taken on as, after years of water vole presence and some harsh management by the parish council and their subsequent disappearance, we decided that we would try and get them back. We have taken down the height of the shading trees and plan a light dig of the silt late summer. We will leave the banks as they are and encourage a better range of wetland species to colonise.

We started work on Triangle pond and copse after being approached by the landowner for help. This is a key site as it links the two other ponds but was completely overgrown with a shallow ditch, blocked culvert and heavily shaded. We had some challenges to overcome with spoil dumping by a WSCC contractor but that got sorted and the volunteers worked hard to open it up and to find the edges of the ditch banks. With selective sycamore tree removal and willow thinning this site has now had a footpath created and a large ditch and pond area dug in. The banks have been seeded and a mixed native hedge planted along the front. Coir rolls and wetland plants will finish the site for this year.

DITCH SURVEYING

As well as all this hard-physical improvement work, we have had volunteers still carrying out the allimportant ditch and hedgerow surveying that informs our work. They continue to go out in challenging weather and to collect the data that is so valuable to the project.

Donnington

We have had a single volunteer complete all the ditch surveys across this parish in just a few months and he is a total hero. Chris and I hope to turn this data into maps and a report in the near future.

Hunston

We have had a volunteer carrying out surveys of this parish estimate we are 60% through. We are also supporting this parish to identify their environmental assets and to carry out species data gathering ahead of writing their Neighbourhood Plan.

Selsey

We have had a couple of volunteers go out and collect ditch data and are hoping to finish the surveying in this parish in the next few months.

North Mundham

We have just started to make contact with this parish and to approach landowners about access to land. We will hope to recruit volunteers from this parish to help us with the surveying.

Apuldram

We have approached a key landowner in the parish and hope to start surveying here over the next month.

OTHER WORK

Mink monitoring

We have been managing and carrying out mink monitoring across the area with financial support from Barfoots, RSPB and Vitacress. Key trained volunteers have been very diligent and committed in carrying out this work as a mink has ben seen about but has remained elusive despite great efforts to catch it. We are exploring another strategy that involves a device that lets the trap contact a mobile phone if it is triggered – we’ll keep you informed of the results!

Education

Emily, the FLOW Communications and Events Officer, has been teaching in schools and focusing on the importance of ditches and wetland to people and wildlife.

WHAT’S NEXT?

We have a busy program of attending events like fetes and village fayres on the Manhood Peninsula over the summer and Emily will be heading that up. She could always do with help as it is fun with a cheery team to put out the word about what we do and why and to recruit new volunteers to help with our work.

Species surveying and habitat surveying

We will have a busy program of species and habitat surveying over the summer and need lots of help with butterfly, moth, bird, reptile, floral and small mammal surveys. We want everyone using iRecord to get our biological data into the Biodiversity Records Centre as this valuable information is needed to protect our wildlife and landscape.

Reports written by the FLOW project
The reports can be seen here for the West Wittering Management Plan, the East Wittering and Bracklesham Management Plan and the Earnley Parish Plan. The Sidlesham and Donnington Plans will be over the next couple of months and we will hold information events in those parishes.

BIG THANKS 

Thanks go to all the volunteers that have helped us with surveying, admin work, tools, physical work, refreshments, mink monitoring, carrying equipment, turning up whatever the weather, the smiles, laughter and support.

Jane Reeve

Volunteers © 2019 Jane Reeve

The First FLOW Coffee Morning

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, FLOW is a major conservation scheme to restore the drainage function of wetland on the Manhood Peninsula and provide essential habitats for wildlife. Volunteers are instrumental to the success of the project and the FLOW team would not be able to complete their mission without their hard work! With a cake-loving workforce and three years-worth of parish improvements to share, the team invited the local community to join them for their first ever coffee morning, on April 13th.

Over thirty regular FLOW volunteers and members of the wider Group, plus individuals new to the project, came along to see the results of the restoration work to date and get inspired about the positive changes being made to ditches, hedgerows and the local environment as a whole. For some contributors to FLOW, the event was their first time meeting the whole team, as these participants complete ditch condition surveys independently, outside of the regular Wednesday, Friday and Saturday group working sessions. It was encouraging for the team to see a representative from Birdham Parish Council attend, since collaboration with governing bodies has been a priority for the team to create a permanent solution to wetland management.

Attendees discussed the long term aims of the project over maps showing the results of extensive FLOW surveys. These maps highlighted locations which had inadequate vegetation, a high risk of flooding and wetland features that would benefit from considered management. From these findings, the team planned to bring their work to more parishes, as well as train and support volunteer-led groups to care for their local watercourses, with FLOW Communications and Engagement Officer, Emily, and Community Conservation Project Officer, Leanne, leading the exercise. Two grandchildren of FLOW volunteers at the event, were particularly passionate about helping the environment and were keen to learn more from MWHG members about the wildlife that could be helped through the project.

After a successful first coffee morning, the FLOW team were excited to continue hosting these social meetings and planned to move the regular event to different parishes, take attendees out to visit wetland sites and even complete some bioblitz’s during the summer months.

If you would like to know more about the FLOW project or are interested in getting involved, look out for notices of upcoming coffee mornings on www.mwhg.org.uk and on social media ‘@mwhgpage’, where you can meet and talk to the team and existing FLOW volunteers, or get in touch with the FLOW Communications and Engagement Officer at ‘hello@mwhg.org.uk’.

Nicola Timney

The Re-introduction of White-tailed Eagles

The Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and Forestry England have recently been granted a licence by Natural England to re-introduce white-tailed eagles Haliaeetus albicilla to the Isle of Wight. The five-year programme will begin with the release 6-8 juvenile birds this summer. It is hoped to establish a small base population in the Solent area from Poole to Pagham, with birds eventually spreading out along the South Coast. Studies in the Nederland’s have shown that the species are content to nest in populated areas.

White-tailed eagle prey on fish and water birds but will also scavenge readily. Most of the water birds taken by eagles are thought to be injured or sick, with carrion making up around 30% of their diet during the winter months. Fish form an important part of the birds’ diet during the spring and summer, when we can expect to see them fishing for abundant species like grey mullet Mugil cephalus, found within the shallow waters of our estuaries and harbours.

Disturbance caused by the eagles to wading birds is understood to be similar to that of peregrine falcons Falco peregrinus. Prey species quickly become accustomed to their presence, if they are not so already – breeding colonies of gulls and terns are very adept at mobbing and driving off the eagles.

As well as the conservation benefits, it has been shown that in areas where white-tailed eagles have been re-introduced previously, they have generated significant benefits for the local economy. The Isle of Mull for example, receives up to £5 million per year through eagle related tourism.

I will be looking out excitedly for these birds later in the year. With their impressive 2 m – 2.4 m wingspan supporting a 3.5 kg – 7.4 kg bird, they will be certain to turn a few heads!

Sources: www.roydennis.org/isleofwight

www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/white-tailed-eagle

Nick Gray

Article by Richard Williamson in the Chichester Observer 11 April 2019

Despite plastic pollution, habitat destruction and extinction of our precious wildlife species across the globe there are armies of determined people who want the planet to stay blue. They are in our backyard too.

One such group of volunteers lives south of the city of Chichester and they call themselves the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group.

They have once again worked all through the winter making the lovely Sussex Plain with all its little meadows and hedges and ponds and streams and old oak trees a more healthy environment for all of us to enjoy. They have sent me their autumn and winter report.

Mums, dads and children down on the Selsey peninsular and along the harbour walls have been carefully managing this secret world of water voles and herons, bumble bees and dormice so that the water flows and some sunlight gets through the canopy to refresh the pond sedge, the dragonfly, and the wild orchid as well.

The area is a miniature Amberley Wildbrooks, which is itself now well guarded as an international treasure that must never be destroyed as it nearly was back in the 1970s.

Londoners in their tens of thousands escaping the pressure of grinding traffic and air pollution on summer days come down here to the coast and breathe again as they trundle gratefully through the last ten miles to the Witterings and the seaside carpark.

The MWHG newsletter has on its front cover a photo of a winter scene with snow surrounding a newly cleared stream winding through the trees.

It reminded me of an Edward Seago oil painting of a Norfolk Broadland scene. Again, a reminder of an international treasure. (In case you don’t know Seago’s works, they are all in Royal and international collections now but superb reproduction plate books are available and well worth seeing to show you what I am talking about).

Apart from riparian maintenance, the MWHG monitors all species and their records are held by the Sussex Biological Records Centre and National Biodiversity Network and they have been short-listed for an award by NBN. Access the work at www.mwhg.co.uk.

Some people have questioned the work on pond and ditch clearance which can seem a violent intrusion upon the landscape as it is carried out. But without this management work, waterways silt up, dry out, and become woodland.

That is fine up to a point but in these days of limited resources there are some rare and very beautiful species that can be seriously disadvantaged and die out since fresh water habitats are far more rare than natural woodland.

Amberley Wildbrooks mentioned above would turn into woodland if not managed, with the loss of 360 species of flowering plants, and also birds with specialised requirements such as snipe and reed warblers.

So trust the team of volunteers working down on the Manhood peninsula for they are led by experts such as Jane Reeve and Sarah Hughes.

Now you know what I am going to say last of all don’t you? If this article gets just one more volunteer to join the friendly group we shall all be very pleased. You will be welcomed with open arms. Nothing could be more useful or healthy for you to get involved in.

The Eileen Savill Award 2019

Has there ever been a better time to praise young people? All around the world they are taking a stand to ensure their future and that of the planet by demanding action on climate change and biodiversity loss.

The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group [MWHG] is again seeking nominations for the Eileen Savill Award. This is an annual award for young people, under 25 years of age, who contribute to the conservation or celebration of the landscape, wildlife or heritage of the Manhood Peninsula, or help others learn about this special place.

The award is open to individuals or groups who have shown enthusiasm and commitment towards practical conservation work or learning about the wildlife and/or heritage of the area or celebrating it through art, photography, writing etc. Those nominated do not have to live on the Manhood Peninsula but their activities must relate to it.

Examples of actions meriting nomination could include:
• Setting up a wildlife garden

• Campaigning on environmental issues

• Tackling plastic pollution

• Working for a Green Group or Gardening Club in school

• Taking part in survey work

• Regular volunteering for an environmental or heritage group

• Keeping a nature diary or records of sightings

• Helping to clean up an area

• A research project

• Helping others to understand more about their local heritage or wildlife

• Leading practical conservation tasks

• Writing, art or photography inspired by local landscapes, wildlife or heritage

We welcome nominations for individuals, family groups, children/students at school, college or university, cubs, scouts, brownies, guides, members of other youth groups as well as members of conservation or history/heritage groups. Previous nominees may be nominated again.

The winner of the award will receive a locally hand-crafted trophy and a prize chosen to support the winner’s activities. The presentation will take place in the autumn.

Eileen Savill lived in Selsey for almost fifty years and devoted her life to encouraging young people by teaching for twenty-three years at Manhood School [now The Academy, Selsey]. She always saw the potential in young people and nurtured it, even when others had written certain young people off. She was a founder member of the MWHG and contributed artwork and photographs to many of the group’s publications. Eileen loved the area and was passionate about preserving and celebrating its heritage. She was also an active volunteer in many of Selsey’s groups, including the RNLI and Camera Club. She spent her life giving.

Do you know a budding Greta Thunberg or someone with a similar passion for preserving our green planet?

Submit your nominations to us online or download a nomination form here.

Joe Savill

Selsey Photo Archive Project

In 2018 Selsey Town Council received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project to preserve and make accessible a significant collection of photographs from Selsey Society’s archive. The project, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, will focus on creating a dedicated website as an invaluable photographic resource for everyone. It has brought together volunteers from the community with members of the Manhood Wildlife & Heritage Group, Selsey Town Council, former members of Selsey Society, and expert staff from the West Sussex Record Office who are providing full training and guidance.

The Selsey Society, which dissolved in 2015, collected a wide-ranging collection of several thousand 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, the fishing industry, railway carriage homes, the Selsey Tram light railway, caravan and holiday parks. The collection, according to Selsey Society’s constitution, was to pass directly to the Record Office in Chichester but this would have, potentially, made it less accessible for the people of Selsey and beyond. This project aims to resolve this issue by making it accessible to all whilst ensuring the long-term preservation of the originals in the Record Office.

After initial training by Record Office staff, volunteers have been cataloguing the collection using a detailed spreadsheet produced by the Record Office. Important details, such as description, date, location, etc, about each photo are recorded as accurately as possible. So far more than 2,500 photos have been catalogued. During this process photos are being selected for the initial 500 to be displayed on the website. The next stage will be scanning the selected photographs and preparing them for uploading onto the website. A team has recently been engaged to design and build the site and the design process is just beginning. It is hoped that the website will go live sometime in the autumn.

A Selsey heritage exhibition, in partnership with Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group, is planned for the August Bank Holiday weekend. It will focus on the history of Selsey High Street and will include images from the collection.

The project has been very fortunate to have recruited an enthusiastic and committed group of volunteers but more help would still be valuable. Anyone joining us will benefit from training, provided by Record Office staff, in cataloguing, scanning and conservation techniques, as well as the sheer joy of viewing and researching fascinating images from Selsey’s past, not to forget becoming part of a very welcoming volunteer team which has a real say in the project’s development.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering 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

Joe Savill Project Co-ordinator

Biodiversity/ iRecord

I joined the MWHG as a volunteer at the end of 2018, with FLOW and general conservation in mind. At one of the volunteer briefings, Jane talked about biodiversity and iRecord. Their website makes it easier for wildlife sightings to be collated, checked by experts and made available to support research and decision-making at local and national levels. By registering with iRecord, your sightings are shared with the recording community, and you have access to dynamic maps and graphs of your data, thereby making a contribution to science and conservation.

In January 2019, I started reporting sightings via iRecord of birds in our garden, and also in the three hedgerows that surround our housing estate near Drift Road, Selsey. Most of these sightings are for common garden birds (albeit some are on the RSPB’s red list): starlings, blackbirds, robins, sparrows etc. I report these sightings via a phone app; this is very easy to use and keep track of what’s been sighted e.g., where seen, bird type, abundance etc. The sightings are then checked by an expert at iRecords, and the outcome confirmed by email; normally “Accepted as considered correct”.

In March/April this year, I received an unexpected email saying that my tree sparrow (Passer montanus) sightings were “Awaiting review”, with the following additional comments: Hello David – this is a very scarce species in Sussex away from the two breeding areas on the Pevensey and East Guldeford Levels (East Sussex). Did you manage a photograph and have a more precise record of abundance? Local experienced birders are checking the ‘sparrows’ in Selsey as this is a very unusual species away from the two small breeding colonies in East Sussex.

The RSPB website shows UK conservation status for tree sparrows as red; the highest conservation priority, with species needing urgent action. I will be paying more attention to my sparrow sightings from now on, in particular abundance and photographs. It’s good to know that there is someone at iRecords reviewing sightings. In addition to my local area, I have seen sparrows around the recreation ground at Oval Lane/ Grafton Road, Selsey Bill.

The point of this article in the MWHG newsletter is twofold: I would endorse Jane’s advice and encourage everyone to register with iRecords. If you are already registered with iRecords, report sparrow sightings in the Manhood Peninsular!

David Wyatt

Life is a Ditch

Hi, a little about me; I’m Kim, 61 years old and this is how I found MWHG and how it has helped me through a traumatic time.

For 7½ years, along with my husband Mick, I travelled France, Spain, Scotland and all over England in our large motorhome. We did this full time as we sold the family home. During our travels we had come across lots of different sites of nature in the countryside of Europe and the UK. We are very avid walkers and love wildlife, flora, fauna and take an interest in the environment.

We sold the motorhome last June 2018 and moved permanently to West Wittering in July. We were keen to meet new friends and explore the area. It was on one of our walks that we came across a leaflet at The Wad, regarding volunteering for MWHG. After discussing it I emailed Jane Reeve who emailed back with details of the next group working at Itchenor Pond in Dec 18 / Jan 19. We went along in the afternoon and met Christopher Drake and the team of volunteers. He chatted to us about the work and introduced us to the members. This really whetted our appetite and we decided we wanted to join this wonderful worthwhile group, which we did in January 2019.

The work is very varied and can be quite hard at times, but we get a lovely “green workout” – no need for the gym! The work involves digging, planting wetland plants, clearing invasive weeds, planting trees, scattering wildflower seeds and grasses, and of course watering where we can. We work every Wednesday, 9.30am – 3.00pm and some Thursdays and Saturdays. I don’t do a Friday as I have counselling on that morning due to reasons I will explain later. We have done ditch surveys with Christopher which is so interesting and made us realise how important surveying these ditches are. We take our grandchildren out on walks when we have them and always take bags and litter pickers with us (supplied by Jane). The two young ones, Elsie aged 8, and Matilda aged 3, are so excited about this and always ask to go litter picking. They are like little sponges and are so eager to learn about nature and saving the planet. They have both made posters for Jane about littering, plastic and how it is damaging the planet.

Just recently while visiting Triangle Pond, Birdham, to see how the planting was coming along, we met a gentleman walking his dog. He stopped us to chat about the wonderful job the volunteers (along with Jane and Christopher) had done and I was proud to say I was part pf the group.

During a recent visit to Chichester Canal we were lucky enough to see three water voles and as we know they are in decline we were absolutely thrilled, and I managed to get a clear video recording of one swimming across the canal. We have recently had a wonderful day out with the group to Binsted Woods surveying dormouse and the day was perfect with very knowledgeable wonderful people.

We are always provided with tea, coffee and cakes and they get special cakes for me as I am gluten free. Everything is provided; gloves, tools etc. I would highly recommend volunteering for this wonderful group.

I have suffered from depression (counselling on Fridays) due to childhood abuse by my adoptive father as a young child and young adult. After he died in October 2017 I went to pieces and finally told my doctor who referred me to PARCS for counselling. Joining the MWHG had “saved” me so I can put everything into the work, which keeps me focused and stops me thinking of what has happened to me.

Kim

Thank you for sharing this personal experience, Kim. It is proof in action that involvement with nature can help mental as well as physical health. The Editor

Manor Green Park

It has been a busy time at Manor Green Park! After consultation with Selsey Town Council, it was decided to remove the low rail fence around the orchard and include that area into the general park. The few remaining apple trees will continue to be looked after and the empty plots filled in and grassed over.

In the rough area next to the orchard, commemorative trees were planted some years ago and these, too, have had mixed success. One which was lost was planted in memory of Bill Lelliott and it was a pleasure to obtain a replacement Rowan for his widow, Dee. Dee came along with her son Jonathan to see the new tree and help plant cowslips, another favourite of Bill’s, around it.

For some time now, the rockery in the Sensory Garden has given concern. All efforts to keep it looking attractive and weed-free have failed. When it was suggested that a Lavender Bed would look good there, the idea was seized upon; the time of year was right and there was no stopping us! A variety of small, healthy, English lavenders have been planted and will be tended carefully. We are delighted with the result.

The Sensory Garden will be part of Open Garden Day on 2nd June this year and we hope some of the lavender will be flowering by then to give a really good show.

We have also continued to improve the bed along by the Nursery and are reaping the rewards, with the planting looking much more mature and colour being maintained over much longer periods.

Selsey Town Council has asked Manor Park to be part of the Love Parks Event on Sunday, 23rd June. Many attractions are planned, and Manhood Wildlife and Heritage volunteers have once again come up trumps by offering full support. It is hoped to have a moth trap, reptile sheets, a music attraction and other activities and to attract more interest and appreciation of the lovely area from the many visitors to the park.

Sheila Wilkinson

East Beach Pond

In October 2018 contractors began installing a large foul water sewage pipe along Beach Road Selsey. A sizable storage compound housing plant and materials was set up in the East Beach car park. Signs and bollards were placed across the whole site with several finishing up in the pond. The low water level in April allowed us to extract the majority of these from the murky water. This construction work has taken far longer than the original six month estimate and the long suffering residents have lived with the daily sound and vibrations of excavators and pumps, coupled with the stench of diesel lingering across the area.

A drop of 30 centimetres in the pond water level over a two month period gave us cause for concern. The construction company said they weren’t to blame but when an engineer from CDC investigated, his conclusion was that low winter rainfall had lowered the water table but the excavation work, which required ground water being pumped out and released south of the pond, may have contributed to this. With no water entering or discharging the pond soon stagnated which seemed to encourage reed growth. At the end of April, after light rain, a trickle was noted at the inlet which seemed to confirm the engineer’s assessment.

A barren site on a slope at the north entrance has been improved using small turfs. Again we sourced our turf from the car park grass verges where it spreads onto the concrete surface. It has been four years since we cut the verges and during that period the grass had spread about 20 cm. Although the turfs consist of ragged clumps, some with soil and others just a network of roots bound together by windblown grits, they do the trick. By roughing up the soil prior to laying the turfs and adding silt from the pond margin to raise the thinnest ones, the finished effect is acceptable. The unevenness will soon find its level and as the wildflowers and perennial grasses develop, the scars will be hidden.

Brent Lodge released five juvenile swans on the pond in the early part of 2019. In February their tranquil existence was disturbed when two adult swans returned to the pond. The adults looked as though they were establishing territory, which meant the youngsters were constantly being attacked. Three of the five got the message and left but a pair chose to hold out. The adults created a platform of reeds and continued to harass the two remaining youngsters. This display of territorial dominance is natural and provides an important lesson for the youngsters but it was unfortunately misinterpreted by a few local people. Upset by the viciousness of the adult’s behaviour someone started circulating the story of the aggressive swans of East Beach Pond. Sarah and I received e.mails, as did others who were drawn into this farce and the story even reached the local newspapers. Meanwhile the two juveniles sought refuge elsewhere but when a week later the adult birds abandoned the site the youngsters returned and have become firm favourites with local people.


Dave Haldane

Heritage Trail Leaflets

Two Heritage Trail leaflets have been produced in conjunction with local businesses:
The Old Piggery Cafe have ‘sponsored’ a trail which visits the castle and chapel at Church Norton and Billys-on-the-Beach have funded another trail which explores Earnley Church, RAF Earnley and Medmerry Nature Reserve.

©  Bill Martin

Other trails are being developed with Birdham and Mundham Parish Councils. Exhibition:

The ‘Pavilion’ at Chaplins Coffee House has been booked for the August Bank Holiday (24-26th) to stage an exhibition in conjunction with the Selsey Photo Archive Group based on Selsey High Street.

Bill Martin

Land Settlement Association

Weald and Downland
Longport Farmhouse (the former reception to the museum) is now an additional exhibition space and it may be home to an LSA display in the Autumn. It would be great if you could, as you have in the past, help to promote the LSA story by stewarding the display for a morning or afternoon session. I will be meeting with museum staff to discuss the format of the display and will then be able to advise you about actual dates and times.

You will recall that the Godfrey Shirt, who lived in the LSA house which is currently in storage, had also been a founder steward at the museum and has his name on a bench outside Bayleaf House. There is now another LSA/museum connection. Keith Coles, a volunteer at the museum working with the oxen, used to live at No 41 (Rookery Road) on the Chawston LSA in Bedfordshire for 20 years from 1991. The previous owner had purchased the property at the closure of the LSA in 1983. Keith and his wife Linda knew several former LSA tenants and I am currently trying to make contact with John Chinnery (No 22), who may have previously worked on an LSA smallholding in Sidlesham!


When you next visit the Weald and Downland you will see two new buildings and will soon be able to enjoy butter made at the dairy on bread baked at the bakehouse made from the flour which is ground at the nearby mill!

Sad News

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of one of the stars of our film – Freda Booth (No 15), who died peacefully at the end of January. Like so many others of you Freda not only made a huge contribution to the LSA, but also to the recording of its history. My condolences to Rosemary, Roger and Bernard.

Museum of English Rural Life (MERL)

I visited MERL again at the end of February to research the early LSA Annual Reports. You may be interested to know that Sidlesham was at the forefront of LSA innovations! In 1937 hen batteries were installed in preference to the more orthodox outdoor system and in 1938 Sidlesham (and Dedham LSA) became central training centres with 292 men admitted before the outbreak of war – 194 went to work on other LSAs and 98 ‘relinguished’ training in the first three months. PTO

Sidlesham Heritage Trail

Beamish Museum

In April I visited Beamish Museum in County Durham. There is a 1900s pit village there, complete with pit pony stables. Beamish also host an annual ‘Yesterday belongs to You’ event for local history groups and I have contacted the organisers in the hope of developing links with some of the families who came to Sidlesham, but then ‘returned north’.


Foxash LSA

I have been contacted (via the website) by someone at Foxash LSA in Essex. Brian Howe came to the estate in 1941 at the age of six, when his father became Orchard Foreman. After the closure in 1983 Foxash Growers and Dedham Vale Nurseries were established, similar to Sidlesham Growers.

Sidlesham School

How times change! In 1939 four new classrooms had to be built to accommodate the influx of LSA families, at least one family had ten children. The school population at that time increased from 120 to 284. In 2019 a total of eleven children (of the 132 at the school) live in former LSA houses – six of them in one class which I led round part of the heritage trail earlier this week.

Tell me a story . . . . .

I have now done 42 presentations to local groups and societies (with a total audience of more than 1600 people) as well as several heritage trail walks. Four more dates are booked for 2019 so if you have friends or family who haven’t seen the archive film, or would like to know more about the LSA and the heritage trail, let me know and I can share the dates.

Only three first names left . . . . No 41 JE Freeman (1950s-60s), No 70 Husband of Joan Holley (1950s-60s) Joan was Secretary of Fletchers Hut & Boatman also No 70 in the 1970s.

Thank you for all your continued support and assistance with this project.

Bill Martin

Medmerry – The First Five Years

To take a quote from a classic 1980’s movie, “If you build it, they will come”. The same can definitely be applied to the Medmerry Managed Realignment Scheme. Five years of monitoring has been completed since the breach in September 2013, covering everything from topography, mud invertebrates, saltmarsh development, fish, breeding birds, molluscs, flowering plants, reptiles, water voles…..the list goes on.

Some of the highlights include breeding waders increasing year on year, with avocets starting to nest in 2013 (one pair) and reaching 36 pairs in 2018. Overwintering wader numbers have trebled since 2014. Despite national trends showing declines in farmland birds, at Medmerry breeding numbers have quadrupled since 2009. Skylarks have trebled in number since 2014. Yellowhammers have increased from 2 pairs in 2014 to 32 pairs in 2018. Nesting Linnets have doubled since 2014, with over-wintering flocks of 1240 plus birds – a new County record.

Annual surveys have sampled over 10,000 fish, identifying 32 species. Gobies, sand smelt, bass and mullet dominated, identifying the site as an important “nursery” for sea fish. Thirteen species of marine mollusc have been identified, four of which have only localised distribution.

And what about the flooding? Well, we have had plenty of named storm events over the last five years and there has been no repeat of the flooding in 2008 which caused £5million worth of damage. Both the marine and freshwater storage areas seem to be performing well and to the specifications they were designed for.

It’s fair to say that the Medmerry scheme is delivering on many levels.

Steve Webster

MWHG COMMUNITY CONSERVATION PROJECT EVENTS CALENDAR 2019

All of the events will have a staff team member on hand, and it would be great if we could be supported by a couple of volunteers at each one. You will have the chance to chat with members of the public, share how we work to protect and preserve local wildlife and heritage, and of course have lots of fun!

If you are free to offer just an hour or two, or stay for the full event, we would be most grateful. We will bring refreshments, but ask that you bring lunch (where required) if you will be able to help for a longer event.

Please take a look at the list and if you are free to support any of the events let me know as soon as possible which ones and how long you are able to offer at lclements@mwhg.org.uk

Event/ Date/ Time/ Activity / Opportunity

  • Selsey Town Council Love Your Parks Week East Beach Pond /Sat 22 June/ 10.30am-3.30pm/ Pond dipping, nature trails, quiz Engagement, awareness raising, volunteer/member recruitment, fundraising
  • Selsey Town Council Love Your Parks Week Manor Green Park/ Sun 23 June/ 10.30am-3.30pm/ Moth trapping, nature trails, quiz Engagement, awareness raising, volunteer/member recruitment, fundraising
  • North Mundham Gala & Flower Show/ 
    Sat 13 July/ Set up from 12 noon Event 2-4 pm/ 
    General awareness, volunteer/member recruitment, activities
  • Binsted Strawberry Fair/ Sun 21 July/  2-4.30 pm/ General awareness, volunteer/member recruitment, activities
  • Sidlesham Village Fete/ Sat 27 July/ Set up from 12 noon Event 2-4pm/ General awareness, volunteer/member recruitment, activities
  • Selsey Lifeboat Station Lifeboat Day/ Sun 4 Aug 10am-5pm/ Engagement, awareness raising, recruitment, fundraising
  • Transition Chichester Brewery Field Open Day/ Sun 25 Aug/ Set up from 10am Event 12-4pm/ Awareness, engagement, recruitment

Copyright 2019 MWHG Editorial and illustration team – Pam Barnes, Carole Hampton, Gina Scott, Peter White

Useful websites

Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group http://www.mwhg.org.uk

Recording the changing seasons – http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk/

Local wood recycling – http://www. aldingbournetrust.co.uk/services_recycling.htm

Local – Bags made from 100% recycled clothing – http://www.thegreendoor.co.uk/

Sussex Bat Group – http://www.sussexbatgroup.org.uk/

UK moths – http://ukmoths.org.uk/

Bug life – http://www.buglife.org.uk/

Mammal Society – http://www.abdn.ac.uk/mammal/ Green shop – http://www.greenshop.co.uk/

Environmental calendar – www.countmeincalendar.info

Swift Conservation – http://www.swift-conservation.org/

Wildcare Shop for products relating to ecology, Park management or conservation. – http://www.wildcareshop.com

MWHG Website www.mwhg.org.uk

New Membership If you are interested in becoming a member please go to www.mwhg.org.uk/get-involved/membership/

Volunteering Subscribe to our volunteering opportunities and get invoived at www.mwhg.org.uk/getinvolved/volunteering/

New content and updates are regularly required for example on wildlife, heritage, etc. All contributions welcome. email: facebook@mwhg.org.uk

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter at “mwhgpage”

Our walks leaflets can be purchased from the following places:
Chichester District Council, Selsey Office Hunston Post Office (Tramway Walks only) Raycraft, High Street, Selsey RSPB Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve Selsey Printing and Publishing Selsey Town Council Office

Registered Charity Number 1147335 Company Number 07629112 Printed by Selsey Press on 75% recycled paper

Eileen Savill Award 2019

June 9th, 2019 by Nikki
Eileen Savill Award 2019: [Back row, L to R] Ben (volunteer for Brent Lodge), Hugh (overall winner and volunteer for RSPB), [front row] [left] Joe Savill (Chairman of MWHG), [centre] Luke (from the Academy Selsey), [right] Chris Drake (FLOW Project Field Officer), [remaining four, left to right] Tiffany, Katie, Millie and Maddie (group from the Academy Selsey)
© Nicola Timney November 2018

TIME TO PRAISE YOUNG PEOPLE
Do you know young people who truly care for their environment?

The Eileen Savill Award 2019

Has there ever been a better time to praise young people? All around the world they are taking a stand to ensure their future, and that of the planet, by demanding action on climate change and biodiversity loss.

The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group [MWHG] is again seeking nominations for the Eileen Savill Award. This is an annual award for young people, under 25 years of age, who contribute to the conservation or celebration of the landscape, wildlife or heritage of the Manhood Peninsula, or help others learn about this special place.

The award is open to individuals or groups who have shown enthusiasm and commitment in one or more of these areas:
• Practical conservation work
• Learning about the wildlife and/or heritage of the area
• Celebrating it through art, photography, writing etc
• Campaigning on environmental issues that affect the area

Those nominated do not have to live on the Manhood Peninsula but their activities must relate to it.

Examples of actions meriting nomination could include:

• Setting up a wildlife garden
• Organising or taking part in an environmental campaign
• Tackling plastic pollution
• Working for a Green Group or Gardening Club in school
• Taking part in survey work
• Regular volunteering for an environmental or heritage group
• Keeping a nature diary or records of sightings
• Helping to clean up an area
• A research project
• Helping others to understand more about their local heritage or wildlife
• Leading practical conservation tasks
• Writing, art or photography inspired by local landscapes, wildlife or heritage

We welcome nominations for individuals, family groups, children/students at school, college or university, cubs, scouts, brownies, guides, members of other youth groups as well as members of conservation or history/heritage groups. Previous nominees may be nominated again.

The winner of the award will receive a locally hand-crafted trophy and a prize chosen to support the winner’s activities. The presentation will take place in the autumn.

Eileen Savill lived in Selsey for almost 50 years and devoted her life to encouraging young people by teaching for 23 years at Manhood School [now The Academy, Selsey]. She always saw the potential in young people and nurtured it, even when others had written certain young people off. She was a founder member of the MWHG and contributed artwork and photographs to many of the group’s publications. Eileen loved the area and was passionate about preserving and celebrating its heritage. She was also an active volunteer in many of Selsey’s groups, including the RNLI and Camera Club. She spent her life giving.

Do you know a budding Greta Thunberg or someone with a similar passion for preserving our green planet?

Nomination forms can downloaded and submitted online [below] or be posted to Joe Savill, 28 Vincent Road, Selsey, West Sussex. PO20 9DQ

Contact details required for this competition are used solely to carry out administrative duties for the “Eileen Savill Award 2019” and will only be held for as long as necessary to provide this service. You may well be contacted for further details if the person/group you nominated is shortlisted for the award.

Deadline for entries is Wednesday 31st July 2019

Download a nomination form 

Submit your nomination online:

 

 

Volunteer ‘thank you’ Bioblitz day at Binsted Woods

May 24th, 2019 by Nikki
Ancient Woodland Walk © Emily Sabin

On Wednesday 15th May, the FLOW team took 17 volunteers to Binsted Woods near Arundel for a Bioblitz wildlife recording day. We dedicated the day to our volunteers to say thank you for all the time, commitment and hard physical work that they have given the FLOW project over the recent winter season. We were spoilt with beautiful weather and the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife. Some volunteers brought delicious homemade treats, including scones, cream and jam!

Volunteers © Emily Sabin

Our aim for the day was for the volunteers to have fun and enjoy spending time together identifying a variety of flora and fauna. Binsted Woods is cared for by MAVES (Mid Arun Valley Environmental Survey), a community-based charity set up by Binsted’s farmers and residents in 2015 to conserve the local countryside. MAVES carries out regular flora and fauna surveys, including the dormouse, which we were all very keen to see. Our Bioblitz was guided by Ian Powell, MAVES’ principal licensed surveyor, who was joined by Paul Stevens, Reserve Manager at Arundel Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and Sarah Hughes, Wildlife Officer for Chichester District Council.

View where A27 bypass would go © Emily Sabin

Binsted Woods is a 250 acre broad-leaved ancient woodland with a high species diversity, adjoining to ancient hedgerows which serve as wildlife corridors around the neighbouring wildflower meadows and arable land. The woodland is intersected by footpaths, enabling anyone to experience the richness of biodiversity. Bluebell walks are an unforgettable experience here, and you might catch a glimpse of roe deer dashing across the fields. If you visit at dusk you can spot an owl silently soaring above its hunting ground. The woods are also home to 14 bat species, 93 bird species (including 20 Red-List species), and an increasing number of badgers, brown hares, foxes and hedgehogs. The wildflower meadows boast a multitude of insects and come alive with the sound of that glorious summer buzz.

Ancient woodland and dormouse habitat © Emily Sabin

Our Bioblitz day started with a mid-morning walk through the ancient woodland, stopping to check a few dormice boxes and finding most were empty, except for a nest of sleeping blue-tit chicks, and a busy tree bumblebee nest with a small cloud of males attempting to attract the queen bee by dancing around the nest hole. We also recorded a variety of plants, including: early purple orchid; wood anemones; primrose; bluebells; butcher’s broom (an ancient woodland indicator species); ferns; mosses, and lichen.

Dormouse © Emily Sabin

In the afternoon we took a different route through the woodland to an area called Paine’s Wood where MAVES has erected lots of dormice boxes. Our licensed dormice handlers checked each box carefully, and – after several were found empty or had other residents – we finally had the magical moment of seeing a dormouse, which was a first time for many of us. The dormice were delicately handled to be examined and sexed.

Dormouse © Emily Sabin

Dormice are delightful and fascinating small rodents and sadly they are threatened with extinction. Their decline reflects the significant loss of ancient woodland habitat and the removal of ancient hedgerow corridors over the last hundred years which are essential for their survival. Paine’s Wood is part of the National Dormice Monitoring Programme (NDMP) and is an excellent habitat for dormice. Fluctuating but good numbers of dormice have been recorded consistently here for 15 years which is an encouraging sign of continued and future presence of local dormice.

Yellow Archangel © Emily Sabin

MAVES continues to gather biodiversity records in Binsted Woods to fully understand this historic environment. Their policy allows data to be shared appropriately to interested people including farmers, landowners and local authorities. Currently, Binsted is threatened by a major road bypass plan which would dissect Binsted village and cut off the ancient woodland from vital wildlife corridors, including the ancient hedgerows and other nearby woodland. Given the prolific biodiversity records gathered here, amidst a backdrop of globally declining biodiversity, it should be impossible to deliver a major road here within the current legislative framework.

Orchid © Emily Sabin

Overall our Bioblitz day was a huge success! We all learnt so much about the local area and the wildlife. Our volunteers had a fantastic day and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of identifying species (and learning lots of new ones) in a beautiful, thriving ancient woodland. A huge thank you to everyone who came along, and to FLOW’s Christopher Drake who organised the event.

For more information visit: www.aruncountryside.org


Post by Emily Sabin

Preserving Selsey’s Past: The Photo Archive Project

May 22nd, 2019 by Nikki
Attendees of the 1909 Selsey Regatta
Selsey Photo Archive Project image, taken at the 1909 Selsey Regatta

Since 2018, the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group (MWHG) has been working in collaboration with Selsey Town Council, previous Selsey Society members and local volunteers, to archive an extensive collection of photographs and postcard memories of Selsey. The core aims of the Selsey Photo Archive Project are to create digital copies of the thousands of photos originally collected by the now dissolved Selsey Society and to build a website to store and display them, for generations to come. This work, funded by the National Lottery, will preserve images depicting coastal industries, landmarks and individuals from the Selsey area, taken from the 2010’s, all the way back to the 19th century.

Our diligent volunteers, with support and training from the Records Office, have already successfully catalogued over 2,500 photos, a selection of which will be viewable on the dedicated website, planned to be published this coming Autumn. An exhibition of photos celebrating the history of Selsey high street is also set to be displayed later this year, during August. Look out for news of these events on our Facebook and Twitter page, plus read our upcoming summer newsletter to see more photos.

History enthusiasts and lovers of the local area can still get involved with this project by contacting the Project Co-ordinator, Joe Savill, at chairmt@mwhg.org.uk or by emailing Selsey Town Council at enquiries@selseytowncouncil.gov.uk.


Post by Joe Savill & Nicola Timney

The Elms Ditch Story

April 10th, 2019 by Nikki

FLOW Project leader, Jane, talks us through a photo diary of changes made The Elms site, in Sidlesham.

This relic ditch was identified for improvement during the ditch surveys of Sidlesham parish. This ditch was very overgrown with willows but also had mature oaks, leylandii 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 on the corner road junction 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.

The work we have been carrying out would have been carried out by beavers in previous years – trimming out tree growth, digging out pools to keep them wet and creating micro-climates for other species to exploit.

20 March 2018

Ditch dark and overgrown, unable to hold water for long as shallow and full of debris.

08 July 2018

Species surveying

09 November 2018

Ditch cannot be seen, overwhelmed with willow and debris.

14 November 2018

Trees cut on the verge side of the bank to get light onto the ditch area. Volunteers go in to start cutting it out – removing the willow, bramble and overhanging branches.

15 November 2018

Continuation of work – trees cut on the verge side of the bank to get light onto the ditch area. Volunteers go in to start cutting it out – removing the willow, bramble and overhanging branches.

16 November 2018

Continuation with debris removal and burning of material. Good material for dead hedging kept

19 – 22 November 2018 – Contractor work

Contractors come in to remove willow from the ditch, bring down the height of trees and open up the ditch. Diggers brought in to help with tree removal and digging the ditch deeper.


23-24 November 2018

Volunteers spend two days raking and digging the verge to remove debris and the deep ruts the machinery of the contractors left. Also put in some channels to take water off the road.


Summary of November work

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 banks will also be seeded with specialist wildflower seeds for heavy clay and wetland areas. 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.

Video: Volunteer for the FLOW Project

April 5th, 2019 by Nikki

Watch our FLOW (Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands) project video to learn more about the work we do and how our dedicated volunteers make it possible for us to prevent flooding, create vital wildlife habitats and restore the wetland heritage of the Manhood Peninsula. 

video

If you’re interested in volunteering with the FLOW team, contact us via the form below or find more information on our volunteering page

 

New Heritage Walks: Explore Norton, Earnley and Medmerry

April 2nd, 2019 by Nikki

We have new walking leaflets available which explore the history and heritage of Church Norton, Earnley and Medmerry. Pick up a leaflet from The Old Piggery Farm Shop And Tea Room, in Norton, or Billy’s On The Beach, in Bracklesham.

 

Volunteer Meet & Greet Coffee Morning

March 22nd, 2019 by Nikki

All are invited to the FLOW (Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands) project‘s casual meet and greet coffee morning, in April. This is a chance for our hard working volunteers and those interested in learning more about the project or volunteering with us, to get together outside of the usual volunteering days.

Please come along to the event if you have any questions for our FLOW team about the work we do or to hear from our FLOW volunteers, to find out what volunteering with us is really like! The team will also be sharing their recent progress and a range of upcoming volunteering opportunities, with attendees. 

The event:

St Wilfrid’s Church Hall, Church Road, Sesley, PO20 0LS

10am – 1pm Saturday 13th April

Refreshments Provided

20th Anniversary Photo Exhibition at Chichester Library

March 19th, 2019 by Nikki

We are happy to announce the first exhibition of our 20th Anniversary Photo Competition winners will be shown from the 25th to the 30th of March, at Chichester Library. This particular display will show the four main winning entries, and a selection of local wildlife photography, including: overall winner/ Landscape category winner, Heather Brooks; Wildlife category winner, Mary Patterson; winner of the Heritage category, Gemma Hinton and Sophie Reeve, the Under 16’s ‘My Local Nature’ category winner.

These photos, and our full Top 20 entries from the competition, will be shown throughout the Manhood Peninsula in the coming months. #MWHG20

FLOW e-bulletin March 2019

March 12th, 2019 by Nikki

We have had a busy habitat improvement season working on many sites with volunteers and using contractors for the heavy work.

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 management, and to highlight the benefits of well-managed ditches for people and wildlife. 

 

View the pdf version of this e-bulletin

 

Read about the FLOW Project  

 

Ditch and Hedge Surveying 

Due to the hard work of one extraordinary volunteer, Donnington Parish has been completely surveyed and once we finish this habitat improvement season, Chris will be processing the data and churning out the parish maps.

We have amazing volunteers working in Hunston and Selsey who are marching across the land and continuing their data collection so hopefully will be finished soon. This will leave Apuldram and North Mundham parishes to survey – please let us know if you can help – we need you!

 

Learn about Volunteering with Us and how you can Get Involved

 

See our Calendar of Upcoming Volunteering Events

 

New Landowners on Board

West Wittering Estates have approached us about some advice on one of their sites and we are working together to action some recommendations. We are also now helping Crouchers Hotel, Birdham, to make the most of their amazing grounds to create and improve habitats and to attract wildlife.

 

Physical improvements carried out this winter

We have worked on 22 sites this winter and the volunteers have bramble bashed, trimmed willow, planted hedges, and created dead hedges. On some sites we have used tree surgeons and ditch contractors to carry out the heavy work, after bat and water vole surveys were completed.

Willow Glen, Sidlesham: Before Willow Glen Sidlesham: After
Ham Road/ Easton Lane Pond, Ham: Before Ham Road/ Easton Lane Pond, Ham: After
Sheepwash Pond, Ham: Before Sheepwash Pond, Ham: After
Haydons Pond, Almodington: Before Haydons Pond, Almodington: After
West Wittering Estates: Before West Wittering Estates: After
Triangle Pond, Birdham: Before Triangle Pond Birdham: After
Hilton Business Park Pond, East Wittering: Before Hilton Business Park Pond, East Wittering: After

A HUGE THANK YOU to Balfour Beatty for donating a week of Traffic Management so that we could work safely on Batchmere Road, Almodington. They provided traffic lights and a lovely man to manage them so that the tree surgeons could crack on while also staying safe.

 

Refreshments – what really matters!
We always try to provide a good spread when it comes to refreshments, but the volunteers have outdone themselves recently and brought cakes along to celebrate their respective birthdays. We have enjoyed homemade lemon drizzle cake, brownies, , date loaf, shortbread, chocolate crispys -totally amazing!

We may have to have a FLOW Bake Off competition!

In November the MWHG FLOW project was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to the final four, for a national award for data recording by the National Biodiversity Network. The other groups shortlisted, and the eventual winner, were large national charities so the MWHG did well as a small volunteer led charity to be nominated.

Please keep entering data about wildlife sightings and surveys on the Manhood Peninsula via our online recording form . You can also enter details of sightings directly to iRecord. We need an accurate picture of wildlife abundance and location to be available to inform future development, mitigation and habitat creation.

 

Thank you to our brilliant FLOW volunteers!

We have had some new volunteers join us this working season and we really appreciate their help, getting stuck in (literally at one site in Birdham), not minding the mud or the rain and bringing their enthusiasm. We must also thank our hardened volunteers that come out week after week despite what we throw at them and bring so much joy and fun to the work parties. Laughter is an important ingredient in our success, and we all have a great time. We all get a huge sense of satisfaction when we see what we have achieved after each working party and we are constantly surprised at just what we manage to do in a day. Thank you all!

What’s next for 2019?

During March and April 2019, we will be installing coir rolls on many of our sites and the filling them up with a range of wetland plant pugs. We will also use large pots of wetland plant species to kick start growth on some of the bare banks that we have created through our pond digging work. We will also be seeding banks with wildflowers that have been chosen to cope with heavy clay or nutrient rich areas. We want them to compete with the hemlock water dropwort, nettles and bramble that will want to dominate.

The spring and summer will be full of species surveying across our work sites to gain data about a range of species. We will also have a series of mini BioBlitz’s on ponds and areas that we have in mind for improvement during the next physical work season.

We will run some training sessions over April and May on ditch and hedgerow surveying, water vole surveying and bats.

With the ditch and hedgerow data gathered in Sidlesham and Donnington, we can now start to create GIS layers and maps, and then the Parish Reports with opportunities for improvement identified. Once these reports are written and published, we will hold information events to share our findings.

We have lots of volunteering opportunities available including physical work, data entry, species surveying, habitat surveying, volunteer induction, survey training, photography, GIS and map creation, and publication design
Come and get involved in a fab project! 

 

Welcome to our new Communications and Engagement Officer

Emily has been out and about with us and is getting to know the volunteers. She has some great ideas about get-togethers and looks forward to meeting everyone. 

Water voles have now been seen using the wetland site in West Wittering where we have spent the last two years bringing light onto the waterway and margins and have introduced a wider range of plants and fruiting trees. They have not previously been recorded here or evidence seen.

More information about this project can be found on the FLOW page and for regular updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter


If you would like to get involved, please email our Communications and Engagement Officer at hello@mwhg.org.uk


Please give us feedback on our e-bulletin by emailing jane@jssj.co.uk

MWHG’s Response to Chichester District Council’s Local Development Plan

February 21st, 2019 by Nikki

The importance of ‘Wildlife Corridors’ cannot be over emphasised.

For the last four years the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group has been working via the Heritage Lottery Fund funded FLOW (Fixing and Linking our Wetlands) Project, to improve green connectivity between the three internationally important wildlife sites on and around the Peninsula: South Downs National Park, Chichester Harbour and Pagham Harbour. This enables creatures to move safely between them. Hedgerows, ditches and watercourses form these valuable links. Birds, bats, small mammals, insects and other invertebrates can travel and forage for food along them.

It is so important that this connectivity should continue beyond this relatively small area to provide passages and food for migrant species and opportunities for wildlife to reach new populations and thereby strengthen their gene pool which can become diluted and weakened in isolated populations, which may ultimately die out.

Our lovely coastal region is heavily developed and the pressure for new housing is enormous. It is vital that despite this, these green corridors should be created and remain sacrosanct.

It is most likely difficult for many people to realise the importance of this to their own health and wellbeing. However the relationship between all of nature, from the smallest seed to the tallest tree, from the tiniest mite to the largest animal, is a complex but inexorable web of survival, of which humans are at the top. The more diverse the network the stronger it is. It affects the air we breathe, the food we eat and the way we feel. For every species that becomes extinct or eradicated from a region, a small link in this invisible web is broken. In the last 25 years our insect population has declined by up to 75%; since the end of the last war Britain has lost 97% of its wild flowers and 300,000km of hedgerows; we are losing our pollinators, like bumblebees (three species gone, 10 severely threatened). Since 1970 the WWF reports the global vertebrate population has declined by 60%. The web of life is being weakened.

So we therefore strongly request that Chichester District Council should ensure these green links exist between the coastal plain and the South Downs and that they are protected from encroaching development, thereby helping to maintain the biodiversity of this special area.

In our view, the wildlife corridors that have been planned, using the best evidence and research available, form an essential way of protecting species in a rapidly changing environment, and are the minimum requirement. I would suggest that there are also significant reasons for recognising and protecting a network of wildlife corridors within the Manhood Peninsula, which link to the major corridors, so that any development, however small, does not impact negatively on biodiversity.


Post by Gina Scott and MWHG

Sheepwash Pond Story

February 11th, 2019 by Nikki

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

This relic pond was identified for improvement during the ditch surveys of Sidlesham 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.

25th October 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. Volunteers spent this session cutting out bramble and willow and burning the brash so that the edges of the pond could be seen.

27th October 2018

 

During this session the volunteers continued to cut out the bramble and to open up the site. It was tough going as many of the brambles were very old. We also had a team cutting up the willow to create a dead hedge along the front of the pond to put off fly tipping which has been a problem here.

31st October 2018

 

The bramble was pushed back and removed from a large corner at the back of the pond and this revealed a large depression that we are going to dig out. We also revealed two ditches that crisscross this site, both shallow and in need of digging out to bring water into the pond.

2nd November

 

This final volunteer session tackled the last of the bramble and the extent and perimeter of the pond can now be seen. A large fire burnt the bramble and willow brash and the sun can now touch the ground where it hasn’t seen light for 30+ years. We continue to carry out the work of beavers!

14th November 2018

A contractor has been brought in to dig out this pond 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.


Post by Jane Reeve

Haydons Pond Story

December 20th, 2018 by Nikki

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

Autumn/ Winter Newsletter 2018

December 20th, 2018 by Nikki

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.

Cakeham Manor Story

December 17th, 2018 by Nikki

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

Selsey Parish Information Session December 6th

December 4th, 2018 by Nikki

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.

Tile Barn Lane Story

December 4th, 2018 by Nikki

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

Spinney Pond Story

October 23rd, 2018 by Nikki

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

Shortlisted for the National Biodiversity Network Award

October 23rd, 2018 by Nikki

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.

FLOW E-Bulletin October 2018

October 12th, 2018 by Nikki

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.

Results of the Great British Beach Clean, Selsey

October 5th, 2018 by Nikki

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

Take Part in the Selsey Great British Beach Clean

September 7th, 2018 by Nikki

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.

The Selsey Photo Archive Project

September 4th, 2018 by Nikki

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

MWHG Photo Competition: Our Winners!

August 30th, 2018 by Nikki

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

Job Opportunity: FLOW Communications and Engagement Officer

August 30th, 2018 by Nikki

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

 

FLOW E-Bulletin July 2018

August 3rd, 2018 by Nikki

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.

 

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

Selsey 1918 to 2018 – Fishing and Tourism Exhibition

July 21st, 2018 by Nikki
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

MWHG 20th Anniversary Photo Competition

July 9th, 2018 by Nikki

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

Spring/ Summer Newsletter Now Available

July 5th, 2018 by Nikki

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

Health Risk Notice: Brown-tail Moth Prevalence

June 28th, 2018 by Nikki

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

Blitzed! Over 100 Species Recorded at Manor Green Park

June 22nd, 2018 by Nikki

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

Eileen Savill Award for Young People 2018

June 10th, 2018 by Nikki

Last year’s Eileen Savill Award Winners Lilah and Mia

TIME TO PRAISE YOUNG PEOPLE
Do you know young people who truly care for their environment?

 

The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group [MWHG] is seeking nominations for the Eileen Savill Award. This is an annual award for young people, under 25 years of age, who contribute to the conservation or celebration of the landscape, wildlife or heritage of the Manhood Peninsula, or help others learn about this special place.

The award is open to individuals or groups who have shown enthusiasm and commitment towards practical conservation work or learning about the wildlife and/or heritage of the area or celebrating it through art, photography, writing etc. Those nominated do not have to live on the Manhood Peninsula but their activities must relate to it.

 

Examples of actions meriting nomination could include:

• Setting up a wildlife garden
• Working for a Green Group or Gardening Club in school
• Taking part in survey work
• Regular volunteering for an environmental or heritage group
• Keeping a nature diary or records of sightings
• Helping to clean up an area
• A research project
• Helping others to understand more about their local heritage or wildlife
• Leading practical conservation tasks
• Writing, art or photography inspired by local landscapes, wildlife or heritage

 

We welcome nominations for individuals, family groups, children/students at school, college or university, cubs, scouts, brownies, guides, members of other youth groups as well as members of conservation or history/heritage groups. Previous nominees may be nominated again.

The winner of the award will receive a locally hand-crafted trophy and a prize chosen to support the winner’s activities. The presentation will take place in the autumn.

MWHG has been celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. During this time it has received both local and national awards for its success in engaging people in action for local wildlife and heritage, as well as its educational work.

Eileen Savill lived in Selsey for almost 50 years and devoted her life to encouraging young people by teaching for 23 years at Manhood School [now The Academy, Selsey]. She always saw the potential in young people and nurtured it, even when others had written certain young people off. She was a founder member of the MWHG and contributed artwork and photographs to many of the group’s publications. Eileen loved the area and was passionate about preserving and celebrating its heritage. She was also an active volunteer in many of Selsey’s groups, including the RNLI and Camera Club. She spent her life giving.

Deadline for entries is Friday 27th July


This award is now closed.

Contact details required for this competition are used solely to carry out administrative duties for the “Eileen Savill Award 2018” and will only be held for as long as necessary to provide this service. You may well be contacted for further details if the person/group you nominated is shortlisted for the award.

Event: Bio-Blitz at Manor Green Park 13th June

June 3rd, 2018 by Nikki

Sensory Garden at Manor Green Park

 

Come along to our Bio-Blitz event at Manor Green Park, The Selsey Centre, to discover your local wildlife!

On the 13th June, from 10am to 4pm, we will be hosting a range of activities to survey this interesting site. From the Sensory Garden to the rain garden, we will be recording and identifying as many species as possible, including reptiles, small mammals, birds, moths from our live trap and wildflowers.

Take our discovery trail, build a bird nest box, learn how to survey different species and bring home ideas to make your garden more wildlife friendly!

Our team will be joined by an expert from the Sussex Biological Records Centre,  providing iRecord training sessions. iRecord is a free online tool which allows individuals to report their wildlife sightings and contribute to a growing, central database to help conserve our environment.

Introduction to New Trustee Dr Lesley Bromley

May 24th, 2018 by Nikki

Dr Lesley Bromley has joined the MWHG as a Trustee this year. Lesley was born in the Midlands, in Wolverhampton, but has known the Manhood, and Selsey in particular, for the last 50 years. Initially her family came to Selsey on holiday, renting accommodation at Platten House, which stood in Clayton Road where Clayton Court now stands. After annual visits for 18 years, her Parents moved to Selsey in 1975, whilst she was studying Medicine in London. She spent more and more time in Selsey and as her Parents became older and needed more help, she spent most weekends in Sussex.

Trustee, Dr Lesley Bromley

The house her parents lived in became hers on the death of her mother in 2001, and she moved here full time but continued to work in London up to 2010.
She worked as a Consultant Anaesthetist at UCLH in London, with a special interest in Pain Management, and also developed an interest in Medical Education and was Director of Medical Education for the Trust for 10 years. Now in retirement she is still teaching, but she teaches doctors how to teach these days.

She has been a bird watcher for more than 30 years, greatly enjoys walking as a pastime and since being a Girl Guide, has enjoyed knowing about the creatures who live around us. She lives in a house with a particular history which is part of the heritage of Selsey and since living here has become more and more interested in the history of the Manhood, from St Wilfred to the present day. She attends church and sings in the choir in Sidlesham and after 50 years of being here she is starting to feel like a native!

Read more from Dr Bromley in our spring/ summer newsletter, coming soon!


Post by Dr Lesley Bromley

Let Nature Improve Your Garden

May 21st, 2018 by Nikki

Download our wildlife gardening leaflet to share these quick tips to make your garden wildlife friendly! You can also pick up a hard copy at Selsey, East Wittering and Chichester Libraries, as well as The Selsey Centre and Selsey Town Council.

Made in partnership with Transition Chichester, this leaflet is part of the wider Recreational Disturbance project, to conserve wildlife, from Chichester District Council.

Let Nature Improve Your Garden Leaflet Open PDF

 

 

A Team Effort to Tidy East Beach

May 16th, 2018 by Nikki

Wednesday 9th May was a stunning blue day at Selsey and perfect weather for a joint beach clean between the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group (MWHG) and Nature’s Way foods. The MWHG are based in Selsey and have an active volunteer group based at East Beach Pond. The MWHG were approached by Nature’s Way to see if we could team up their staff with our volunteers to do a litter pick at East Beach. The timing of the clean was important, because it was just after the busy bank holiday weekend, when there may have been more rubbish left than usual, and also before the main tourist season, by which time it would be good to have the beach and its surroundings looking tip top. The clean also coincides with Chichester District Council’s (CDC) recently launched ‘Against Litter’ campaign, and CDC kindly lent us some litter-picking kits, including litter pickers, hoops and bags.

 

MWHG volunteers and Nature’s Way staff busy clearing litter below the seawall. ©Nicola Timney

 

On the afternoon of the clean, 15 people turned up to help, including staff from Nature’s Way and staff and volunteers from the MWHG. The staff from Nature’s Way certainly seemed to appreciate the chance to get out of the office on such a glorious afternoon, with the added bonus of giving back something to the local community. It was also great to have the support of some of the regular volunteers from the MWHG East Beach group. After ensuring everyone was briefed on safety and supplied with the right kit, volunteers were allocated different areas to work on and set off in pairs. The focus for the clean was approximately the 200m of beach in front of and either side of the East Beach car park and the surroundings of the car park itself, including the greens. Overall it was good to see that there was not a huge amount of litter left on the beach or the greens, the worst area was below the seawall on the landward side, where litter is dropped from above and collects from the wind. Most of the litter found was waste plastic, including food wrappers, bottle and bottle caps. After a good two hours of work, 8 bags of litter had been collected and were left by the bins for CDC to take away.

 

The team. Hopefully we’ll join forces again soon to tackle more litter! ©Nicola Timney

 

Over refreshments of juice, biscuits and strawberries, the team could feel well pleased that they had a made a difference and there was even talk of making a joint litter pick between Nature’s Way and MWHG a regular thing! Many thanks to all the volunteers and staff who turned up, and in particular thanks to Hannah Lambourne from Nature’s Way, for helping to organise the clean and providing the refreshments. Thanks also to Community Wildlife Officer, Sarah Hughes, for helping to arrange the litter picking kits from CDC.

 


Post by Rebecca

The New Volunteer Welcome Pack has Landed!

March 29th, 2018 by Nikki

Earlier this week, the new volunteer welcome pack finally rolled out of Selsey Press. As Communications Officer, the design and production of this pack has been one of the key projects during my first 6 months in post. The rationale behind the pack is to provide volunteers with a background to the MWHG as an organisation, along with information on where we work and the volunteering opportunities available. In the early stages of developing the pack, I spoke to several volunteers, and the issues that came up included: How is the MWHG structured and who are the main contacts in the organisation? What is the FLOW Project and how does it fit with our other work? What locations do we work in, and how do we know what other volunteering opportunities there are? The pack seeks to answer these questions and in doing so, will make it easier for volunteers to orientate themselves within the MWHG and choose when, where and how they would like to volunteer. In addition to this, the pack is a support document, covering important topics such as lone working and work-party safety, that are relevant to established and new volunteers alike.

Contents of the new volunteer welcome pack. ©R. O’Dowd

Contents of the new volunteer welcome pack. ©R. O’Dowd

The production of this pack has been a joint effort. The exact contents were hammered out at a brain-storming session with Jane Reeve, Chris Drake, Sheila Wilkinson and Dave Haldane, and finalised after a review and discussion with Joe Savill. In the months since, Joe, Jane, Chris have all contributed content, which I’ve then developed and structured into the new pack format. The pack contents are held within a useful folder that volunteers can use to keep other documents about MWHG too. With all the different sections to check, there was lots of proof-reading to do before the final copy went to the printers, so further thanks to Joe, Jane and Chris for help with this. Mike Wickens at Selsey Press has been excellent in discussing the printing options, and the quality of the finished product has exceeded my expectations.

I now have the task of compiling the contents of all 200 packs, and will do this in batches with many cups of tea and biscuits to keep me going! The first packs will be going out to volunteers shortly via the group leaders and any volunteers that can’t be reached this way will receive a copy in the post or at a later event. The pack will go to all existing and new volunteers who are currently active in contributing their time to our work.  Despite our small size as an organisation, I believe MWHG now has a welcome pack worthy of our fantastic volunteers, and it is an important way in which we can show how much we value the time and effort that they contribute.

Over time, there is scope to add and revise the welcome pack contents as needed, and I would welcome feedback from volunteers. Please email hello@mwhg.org.uk with your comments.

Rebecca

Communications and Engagement Officer for MWHG

 


Post by Rebecca

Volunteers take on the Coir Roll Challenge!

March 16th, 2018 by Nikki

Last weekend a team of dedicated volunteers, with FLOW Project Leader Jane at the helm, took on the challenge of distributing 40 coir rolls to 8 sites across the Manhood Peninsula. They were ably assisted by Campbell Thorp, who drove the rolls around in his pick-up truck, and all went home happy in the knowledge of a task well done…and lots of loose coir fibres in their ears, mouths and clothing! A huge thanks is extended to all the volunteers that helped shift these rolls about, and a special thanks to Campbell Thorp for his work with his pick-up and trailer. The use of coir rolls is an important part of the habitat creation and improvement work that MWHG do, and we asked Jane to tell us more about the rolls and how they work.

In a nutshell, what is a coir roll?

A coir roll is a long sausage shaped bundle made of coconut fibres, which are bound together with bio-degradable cord. It’s an environmentally sound use of coconut fibres which are otherwise a waste product of coconut production. The coir rolls in this case have been delivered to us dry and they have 18-20 holes cut into them where plug plants can be placed. The benefit of dry coir rolls is that they are only 20-30 kg to heft about, compared to the 80 – 100 kg when wet. It also means that we can populate them up with the plants of our choosing as they are not pre-planted, so we can introduce very specific species relevant to the local area.

Volunteers lift the coir rolls into position. The Wad, West Wittering ©Jane Reeve

Purple areas of loose coir where it can be removed and plug plants put in. Hale Farm, West Wittering ©Jane Reeve

These coir rolls will be staked into place and then planted up with a range of riparian species to improve biodiversity and to stabilise the ditch banks. Once staked, the coir rolls absorb water and are a great medium for the plants to grow in. The plants soon put on growth and create large roots that go through the coir and into the banks of the ponds, ditches or banks where they have been placed. They do not need any topping up and will thrive, as demonstrated in the photos of Birdham Pond below. They then just require light cutting back once a year like any other vegetation. The coir will eventually disappear completely leaving the plants growing in the underlying soil.

Pre-planted coir rolls being installed at Kingfisher pond in Birdham. ©Jane Reeve

 Kingfisher pond 4 months on with the vegetation growth. ©Jane Reeve

After coir rolls are installed, the growth in one year can be incredible.

Why is the use of coir rolls important to MWHG’s work?

By helping to stabilise ditch and stream banks and introducing more plant biodiversity into the wetlands, we are trying to create better water vole habitat. Water Voles are England’s fastest declining mammal, so this work with help ensure that that they continue to have a stronghold on the Manhood Peninsula.

How do you decide where to put the coir rolls?

We target wetland sites that have very little floristic diversity, and which have been heavily shaded and under managed over a long period in the past. We have worked on these sites over the last couple of years removing willow and bramble that didn’t allow light to hit the water, opening them up and digging them out. The final stage is introducing native wetland species with the help of coir rolls that we can plant with plugs. This year, we have decided to target Hilton Business Park pond, the Cakeham Manor wetland area, Hale Farm, Regency house and Sparrow cottage – all sites we have worked on and prepared this winter. We may dig out these sites further, so will ensure that the coir rolls are not damaged.

The weather is a challenge this time of year, why put them out now?

We install the coir rolls this time of year because the vegetation/tree cutting season has finished with the start of the bird breeding season and it is also the beginning of the growing season. Small plug plants put into the rolls have a whole growing season ahead and can quickly green-up what had previously been a dark and bare site. The rolls have all gone onto site now and we will spend the next couple of weeks installing them. This Friday we will start work on Hilton Business Park – staking the rolls into place and planting them with a range of plug plant species.

Hale Farm, West Wittering © Jane Reeve

Malthouse Cottages, West Wittering ©Jane Reeve

After installation, the coir rolls green-up quickly, adding an early flush of life to bare winter wetlands and helping to stabilise the banks.

Is that it, or will you be installing more rolls in the future?

I will probably try and get more of these rolls next year so that we can do this all again on the new sites we will be working on. This work is so satisfying because we can see the results quickly and it makes a big difference to the quality and diversity of our local wetlands. We are always looking for new volunteers to come and help us, so if this blog has inspired you, why not get in touch and find out how you can get involved. There is no requirement for a regular commitment, and coming along for a taster session is great way to meet the volunteers and see if it is something you might enjoy.

Please contact Rebecca on hello@mwhg.org.uk for more information about volunteering with MWHG, or ring Jane on 07743824049 if you wish to join a work event. Details of our upcoming tasks can be found on our website calendar.

The coir roll champions! There’s nothing quite like a cup of tea after a good day’s work. Southend Farm, Donnington © Jane Reeve


Post by Rebecca

Have Your Say: New Activities for Dog Walkers Outside Protected Chichester Harbour

March 3rd, 2018 by Nikki

Chichester Harbour is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is in part protected for the wading birds, present over the winter months. Chichester District Council is looking to provide activities for dogs on alternative routes outside of the harbour, between Southbourne and Chichester, to minimize external affects on these birds.

Please take the short survey on the Chichester District Website and share your ideas for activities you would like to see!

 

 

 

Freshwater Habitats Trust: Frog Spawn Survey 2018

March 3rd, 2018 by Nikki

Take part in this year’s Freshwater Habitats Trust’s (FHT) Frog Spawn survey. This annual survey collects data on the numbers of breeding frogs and toads in your garden or local park, pond. This important data is distributed across the UK to government bodies and non-profit organisations, to be considered during planning and guide conservation efforts.

Download the FHT’s recording form, which includes identification examples, to help you track your sightings of spawn, tadpoles and adult frogs or toads.

Freshwater Habitats Trust Spawn Survey 2018 Form View PDF

Enter your results on the Freshwater Habitats Trust website and follow #SpawnSurvey on social media for updates.

 

 

 

 

 

FLOW Project: Earnley Parish Report and Drop in Results Session

February 13th, 2018 by Nikki

Read the full FLOW Project Ditch Assessment and Improvement Plan, or read our quick FLOW e-bulletin round-up of the work completed in Earnley.

 

FLOW Project Report Earnley Parish 2018

FLOW Project Report Earnley 2018 Appendix iii

FLOW Project Report Earnley Parish 2018 Appendix iv

The FLOW Team is also hosting a drop in session to show their results, this Thursday 15th February at Bracklesham Barn, from 10 am to 12pm.

FLOW e-bulletin February 2018

February 12th, 2018 by Nikki

Read our e-bulletin for a snapshot of the work we’ve achieved in Earnley or read our detailed FLOW Report on our findings.

This Thursday 15th February, the FLOW Project Team will be hosting a drop in session at Bracklesham Barn from 10 am to 12pm, to show their results and plants for future work in the local area.

Cold Snaps: Photos from our Winter Work Projects

December 21st, 2017 by Nikki

FLOW Project

Removing Willow from the relic pond at Hilton Business Park © Chris Drake, November 2017

As part of the Fixing and Linking our Wetlands (FLOW) Project, volunteers have been clearing invasive Willow from overgrown ponds across the Manhood Peninsula. At the relic pond in East Wittering, our working party made quick progress, with FLOW Field Officer, Chris, managing to clear seven large willow trees with a chain saw in a single session! These Willow cuttings are used to make stakes and binders for hedge laying and the team plans to return soon to create a dead hedge at the Hilton Business Park site. This natural barrier will decay over time, enriching the ground, whilst providing shelter for insects and other wildlife throughout its life.

ASHE Group

Collecting debris for the bug house at Morgan’s Pond © Jane Reeve, December 2017

On a recent tool organizing day, ASHE volunteers took the opportunity to check in on the new hedge and replenish the bug house at Morgan’s Pond, in Almodington, with natural material. The Almodington, Sidlesham, Highleigh and Earnley (ASHE) Group maintain sites within their parishes year-round to reinforce habitats. This is especially important to do now for winter-hibernating creatures, before freezing temperatures take hold.

East Beach Pond

Maintaining the island and reed beds at East Beach Pond © Dave Haldane, November 2017

East Beach pond, in Selsey, received Gold from the South & South-East in Bloom Awards this year, thanks to our East Beach Pond Group’s hard work! Restoration of the pond brings wildlife to the water and ensures the built-in flood prevention system continues to benefit local people. In November, the volunteers took the boat out to the island to reduce scrub and cut back the surrounding reed beds, preserving the pond for next year.

 

Learn more about how you can get involved and volunteer for our practical conservation projects.


Post by Nikki

Autumn/ Winter Newsletter 2017

December 15th, 2017 by Nikki

Click on our new newsletter for updates on our work, introductions to new FLOW Project team members, pictures of our wildlife sightings and to read the Eileen Savill Award winning poems, from Lilah and Mia.

If you’re not a member but would like to be notified when our newsletters are released, sign up below!

Autumn/ Winter Newsletter 2017

Eileen Savill Award 2017 Results

November 16th, 2017 by Nikki

Mia [left] and Lilah [right] receiving their awards from Dave [centre]

The task for young people this year was to produce a piece of creative writing about minibeasts.

The winner was Lilah [aged 7], for her poem about a butterfly’s life. Told from the butterfly’s point of view, it explored the butterfly’s feelings through its life cycle.

Runner-up was Mia [aged 9], also for a poem but this time it described the variety of minibeasts, their characteristics and behaviours.

Read Lilah and Mia’s poems in our Autumn/ Winter newsletter: coming soon!

Eileen Savill Award carved by Peter Warren

The presentation ceremony took place at the Selsey Centre with family of the winners in attendance, members of the Savill family and friends, as well as MWHG members. The Award, certificates and other prizes were presented by Management Team Member, Dave Haldane, who is one of the group’s experts in identification of flora and fauna.

The girls both received a book about minibeasts and a gift token. And as winner, Lilah also received a book of poems and the Award itself. This year it was a diving Kingfisher, beautifully carved, as always, by Peter Warren.

After the presentations and hearing the poems, both read very confidently and clearly by Lilah and Mia, everyone enjoyed light refreshments and an opportunity to discuss the girls’ work.

The judging team now look forward to planning next year’s award.

 

The Eileen Savill annual Award was created by her family in 2012 to commemorate her work with young people, helping them overcome difficulties in their education and build on their strengths. She was a founder member of the Group and contributed artwork for many MWHG publications in order to celebrate the wildlife and heritage of the Manhood Peninsula.


Post by Joe

 

Our Own Community Champion

November 10th, 2017 by Nikki

Dave Haldane (centre) and volunteers celebrating at East Beach Pond

Dave Haldane [centre] and volunteers celebrating at East Beach Pond


Dave Haldane has won a Community Champion Award as part of this year’s South & South-East in Bloom Awards.

The judges wanted to recognise his unwavering commitment as a volunteer to help maintain various open spaces in Selsey, in particular East Beach Pond and Selsey Common. They were also very impressed with his knowledge of local flora and fauna and enjoyed the wonderful overview he gave of the areas during their judging tours.

He was one of only three people chosen to receive this award across the whole of the South & South-East in Bloom judging area, which includes about 300 communities.

Members of the East Beach Pond Group gathered to celebrate Dave’s award with bubbly and nibbles, at the end of their regular Tuesday afternoon session at the pond.


Post by Joe

Tooled-up for the Task Ahead

October 9th, 2017 by Nikki
Post by Rebecca

On Wednesday morning, a small group of MWHG volunteer leaders and staff took advantage of the autumn sunlight to unpack and label a large cache of new tools. Having been inundated by the newly ordered implements, it was a relief to FLOW Project Manager, Jane, to finally get them all out of the house and stored safely in the container! The tools, amongst which are spades, billhooks, hand-saws and rakes, are a timely acquisition, and have been distributed to different sub-groups for use across the peninsular. The tool’s arrival is also welcomed ahead of the FLOW Project’s busy autumn and winter work programme.

 

© Rebecca O’Dowd

Posing with an array of new tools, and itching to get started with them out in the field.

This addition to MWHG’s work-party resources is a result of a successful application to the WSCC’s Operation Watershed Fund, which was set up to support community and flood group initiatives tackling flood issues across the country. To qualify for the money, MWHG had to demonstrate the wider benefit of its work to the community, through education, training and sustainability- not just direct action- and have the support of the County Councillor. The outcome of that funding application, was that MWHG were awarded an impressive £3000 for new tools. Reflecting on the benefit this will have, FLOW Project Manager Jane Reeve, says “ I am looking forward to the difference this will help us make in enhancing local habitats, such as ditches, ponds and hedges- all of which contribute to controlling surface water and flood risk”. Lots of new tools require lots of volunteers to use them however, and the MWHG and FLOW Project are always looking for more ‘hands on deck’ to help meet their ambitious targets for surveying and improving wildlife habitats, across the Manhood Peninsula.

 

© Rebecca O’Dowd

It was a test of skill, teamwork and ingenuity to assemble to two wheelbarrows!

If you are interested in volunteering for the MWHG or FLOW Project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We have a variety of volunteer roles available, and a full schedule of upcoming work party events, including regular ‘Flow Fridays’ and ‘Welly Wednesdays’. You can check out our events calendar, or keep in the loop by following us on Facebook @mwhg.page and Twitter @mwhgpage 

For more information on volunteering near you and how you can get involved, please contact Rebecca O’Dowd (Communications and Engagement Officer) on: hello@mwhg.org.uk

 

2017 Annual General Meeting

October 3rd, 2017 by Nikki

Notice of Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the 6th Annual General Meeting of the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group [MWHG] will be held in the Exhibition Hall at Selsey Town Council Offices at 6.30pm on 26th October 2017 to transact the following business:

AGENDA

  • Opening remarks and Welcome
  • Apologies – please send these to the Chair of the Management Team
  • Minutes of previous AGM meeting
  • Matters arising from minutes
  • Reports and Updates
  • Presentation of Annual Report and Accounts
  • Adoption of Annual Report and Accounts
  • Election of Trustees and Treasurer
  • Members’ resolutions/motions to be put to AGM – proposed resolutions should be sent to the Chair of the Management Team by noon 12th October
  • Any other appropriate business/ questions
  • Closing statements

This will be followed by an illustrated talk by Gina and David Scott about their recent visit to Antarctica.

Light refreshments will be served during the evening.

By order of the Board of MWHG Charity Trustees

Joe Savill, Trustee and Chair of the Management Team:  chairmt@mwhg.org.uk

South & South East in Bloom Awards 2017

September 27th, 2017 by Nikki

East Beach Pond Spring 2017

Each year our members and volunteers work hard to manage special green spaces in Selsey, for wildlife and people to enjoy. Thanks to these efforts, this year we upheld our results in the South & South East in Bloom Awards!

Active member of the Group and working parties that conserve these sites, Sheila, said of the awards given – “We were pleased to maintain our standards in the South and South East in Bloom Awards this year.  We do strive to increase our marks each year and will continue to work hard to gain more in future.”

Selsey in Bloom Award Silver Gilt
Manor Green Park Silver Gilt
East Beach Pond Gold
Sensory Garden (in Manor Green Park) Thriving

Previous results for these spaces and other awards achieved by the Group can be found in our About Us

Sensory Garden, Manor Green Park Spring 2017

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

September 6th, 2017 by Nikki

You can now subscribe to be notified when our newsletter is released!

Already a member? You will be emailed each time a newsletter is published.

Take a look at our newsletter archive for stories from the Manhood Peninsula, progress reports from our project leaders, and more!

Brewery Field Community Open Day – Sunday 20th August

August 14th, 2017 by Nikki

The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group’s Wildlife Officer, Sarah Hughes, will be at the Brewery Field Community Open Day in Chichester, this Sunday 20th August – come and say hello!

To celebrate the working history of the site, there will be Dray rides, a variety of green activities and more, organized by Transition Chichester and Friends of Brewery Field. Full Event Details on the Transition Chichester Website.

Brewery Field can be found here:

Selsey Lifeboat Launch Day – Sunday 6th August

August 1st, 2017 by Nikki

We’ll be at the Selsey Lifeboat Launch day, amongst the activities on the Lifeboat green.

Come say hello this Sunday, 6th August!

Full details about the day’s events can be found on the Selsey Lifeboat site, here.

New Job Opportunity – FLOW Communications and Engagement Officer

July 17th, 2017 by Nikki

 

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

£24,000  pa

pro rata for 2 days a week

Fixed Term contract to the end of December 2020

 

Based: Selsey office/home-working

Closing date: Monday 14th August

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 for a full job description and an application form.

 

Spring/ Summer Newsletter 2017

June 14th, 2017 by Nikki

Read our new Spring/ Summer Newsletter.

FLOW 2017 Wetland Habitat Assessment and Improvement Plan

June 7th, 2017 by Nikki

 

The Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands project’s most recent survey reports that planned improvements to ponds, ditches and other habitat in the Manhood Peninsula will increase natural water storage from heavy rainfall, benefiting both people and wildlife.

Report

“The HLF FLOW study of the East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish ditch system took four months to complete and used a scoring system to analyse the main attributes of the ditches. This included drainage, environmental and biodiversity aspects. In this time 31 ditches and waterways were surveyed…” Read the full report here.

Appendixes

Photo examples

Action Plan

 

Upcoming Event: FLOW Drop in Results Session

May 29th, 2017 by Nikki

Eileen Savill Award 2017: Wild Writing

May 3rd, 2017 by Nikki

The Award is now in its sixth year and for 2017 we want you to celebrate the world of minibeasts in a piece of creative writing.

Much of the rest of the natural world depends on minibeasts so they are very special, yet we can see them every day. Think of butterflies, bees, bugs, beetles, moths, dragonflies, worms, woodlice, ants and spiders. The list is endless…

We would like you to produce a story, poem, letter, diary, speech or rap about a minibeast or minibeasts. It can be presented as: a handwritten piece, a word document – with or without illustrations – a storyboard/ comic strip, a video, a sound recording or an animation. Text may be scribed or typed by a friend or adult but all words and illustrations must be the work of the entrant.

Ideas to get you writing

  • Produce a picture book – older writers could write and illustrate one for a younger audience. There are plenty of great picture books with minibeasts as subjects to give you ideas
  • Write a letter from a minibeast to the human race explaining the problems they are facing and what we could do to help them
  • A minibeast autobiography – imagine you are a minibeast telling your life story or part of it
  • A minibeast faces a problem/challenge in their life and your story is how they tackle it – it could be a new housing development, a polluted pond, food shortage, etc.
  • An imaginary encounter with a minibeast – perhaps you have somehow shrunk to enter the minibeast world so everything is now life size
  • A minibeast on a quest meets other minibeasts and learns about them as they help out, or not
  • What would our world be like if ants, spiders, bees or any other minibeast ruled the planet, instead of humans?
  • A minibeast’s diary – see the world through their eyes for a day or days
  • A letter/ email from the minibeast family describing what they do for us for free and how things would be different without them
  • What would be on the menu at the Minibeast Summer Ball? – can you produce a beautifully illustrated copy for this grand event
  • How about an interview with a ‘celebrity’ minibeast – what would you want to ask?
  • The amazing range of fabulous features of minibeasts could be good themes for raps and poems
  • The story of a minibeast growing into a beautiful adult – rather like ‘The Ugly Duckling’

The judges will be looking for an engaging plot or theme, the thoughtful choice of language as well as some understanding of minibeasts. So write about what you know or do some research or, better still, find some minibeasts and watch what they do.

We welcome entries from any young person below 25 years of age who lives on the Manhood Peninsula or attends school there. Prizes will be awarded for different age categories, depending on the spread and number of entries, and an overall Award winner chosen.

The closing date for entries is the 31st July 2017 and you may submit your entry any time before this date.

All entries must be accompanied by the following information:

  • Name and age of entrant
  • Name of who to contact and their email or telephone number

Entries can be either sent to 28 Vincent Road, Selsey, West Sussex, PO20 9DQ (collection can be arranged if required) or emailed to chairmt@mwhg.org.uk

 

New Autumn/ Winter Newsletter

December 7th, 2016 by Nikki

Read our new Autumn/ Winter Newsletter.

autum-winter-2016-newsletter-blog-pic

FLOW – Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands Field Officer

November 25th, 2016 by Tom

FLOW – Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands

Field Officer [Heritage Lottery Funded]

£18,720  pa

pro rata for 4 days a week

Fixed Term contract to the end of December 2020

Location: Manhood Peninsula, West Sussex

Based: Selsey and from home

Closing date: Friday 9th December

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. The aim is to ensure that the wetland habitat is connected and managed to a high standard so that it functions for people and wildlife. It is intended that much of the work will be carried out by volunteers.

The successful candidate will have experience of managing volunteers, ecological field surveys and practical habitat improvement work. They will have knowledge and experience of writing management plans and practical hands-on experience of land management for nature conservation, particularly in relation to wetland habitats. They will be able to work independently as well as part of a team. A full, clean driving license is required as travel to areas that are often not accessible by public transport will be necessary.

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.

Job Description

Application Form

FLOW logoHLFHI_2747

FLOW Project Launch

November 1st, 2016 by Nikki

Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group (MWHG) has received a grant of £545,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands (FLOW) project.  This project will be working to improve and enhance wetland habitat across the Manhood Peninsula (MP) over the next four years.

vole-launchThe MWHG have previously successfully carried out mapping projects in Birdham, West Itchenor and West Wittering Parishes and the results of the survey work can be seen at www.mwhg.org.uk. Working with Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council, and the Environment Agency, information is shared and sustainable solutions sought for persistent flooding issues with wildlife and people in mind. We will be surveying East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish until February with the parishes of Earnley, Sidlesham, Selsey, Hunston, North Mundham, Donnington and Apuldram to follow.

With the help of trained volunteers, the project will carry out essential survey work of the existing wetland network and map the findings to make them accessible for a wide range of audiences. Where environmental or flood issues are identified, solutions will be sought and physical work carried out where appropriate and possible.  Focus will be on building strong relationships between stakeholders to support a cohesive approach to wetland management across the Manhood Peninsula. Using tithe and old maps from the past, relic ponds and ditch systems are identified for recovery so that water can be held back away from people and properties.

The wetland network of the MP is currently a strong hold for the UK’s endangered water vole population that live in the ditches and ponds. Chichester and Pagham harbours, which flank the MP, have international significance as wetland habitats because of the wildlife they support.

flow-launchSome improvement work will involve contractors and machinery but people power will be required to cut back vegetation and open up ditches.  Working parties will be organised with plenty of refreshments and it is an opportunity to learn more about your local environment, meet new friends and have fun with a sense of satisfaction at the end of it.  We have carried out work in neighbouring parishes and made difference with volunteer groups that meet regularly to look after their local environment.  Please contact us and get involved!

We will be hosting an event at Bracklesham Barn on Thursday the 8th December 2016 at 10.00am – 12.00 midday for local people to come and tell us about flooding issues they have had, draw on maps to pin point problems, and to see the work that we have carried out in previous studies. Please do come along!

Please contact us for more information or if you would like to volunteer:

FLOW Project Contact Form

logo FLOW logo HLF logo

2016 Eileen Savill Award

October 28th, 2016 by Tom
7th October 2016 Eileen Savill Award

2016 Eileen Savill Award winners

2016 Eileen Savill Award winners

For the first time this year the Award was sponsored through our partnership with Vitacress.  The Award and First Prize went to 17 year old Hannah Farrant for her skillful landscape painting of a view over the new RSPB reserve at Medmerry. Once again local wood carver and MWHG member Peter Warren provided the Award, a carving of a robin with its head tucked under its wing.  Prizes were also awarded in the 5-7 and 8-11 age groups.  They went to Matilda Rey-Barriero, Mia Chung, Ruby Bensley, Elizabeth Broadbridge, Bethany Middleton and Sofia Casali for artwork depicting their observation of nature.  The ceremony took place at the Selsey Centre, watched by the families of the prize winners and members of MWHG, with all the winning artwork on display.  Presentations were made by Leah Mathias-Collins, Conservation Officer of Vitacress.
Vitacress

Beaches cleaner than last year

September 28th, 2016 by Tom

Two teams of our volu­nteers carried out su­rveys and beach clean­s for the Marine Conservation ­Society’s (MCS) annua­l Beachwatch weekend on 16th-18th Septembe­r.  This year’s event­ was special as an in­ternational survey of­ rubbish on beaches w­as carried out by the­ MCS.  These surveys ­provide data that ind­icates the changing p­icture of rubbish bei­ng deposited on our s­hores – volume, and s­ource where possible ­- examples: the fishi­ng industry, picnicke­rs, rubbish from ship­ping, as well as any ­creatures that have b­ecome entangled in ru­bbish and died as a c­onsequence. One team ­surveyed at East Beac­h, Selsey, and the ot­her round Selsey Bill­.  Both were pleased ­to report less rubbis­h being collected thi­s year, and the East ­Beach team met three ­local members of the ­public who said they ­picked up rubbish reg­ularly whenever they ­went on the beach.  T­hat’s fantastic, and ­thanks are due to all­ those folk who take ­the trouble to keep t­he beaches round the ­Manhood Peninsula rub­bish free, as well of­ course to our loyal ­and hard-working volu­nteers.

South and South East in Bloom Awards 2016

September 20th, 2016 by Tom

Sensory Garden in Spring

Sensory Garden in Spring

Sensory Garden in Autumn

Many congratulations to our brilliant Selsey Volunteers, you have done it again! The awards won by your efforts are listed below:

Manor Green Sensory Garden: Level 4 Thriving
Manor Green (small park): Gold
East Beach Pond (small conservation): Gold and Best in Category
Selsey in Bloom: Silver Gilt

We are proud of you!

East Beach Pond in Autumn

East Beach Pond in Autumn

Spring/ Summer Newsletter 2016

August 9th, 2016 by Nikki

Read our new Spring/ Summer Newsletter.

spring summer 2016 newsletter

 

FLOW Report: Ditch Assessments Results and Improvement Plan

June 1st, 2016 by Nikki

pond

The FLOW project has released a report on the findings from ditch assessments carried out across the West Wittering Parish. These findings have been used to create a plan to help wildlife and prevent flooding, by improving wetland conditions.

Report

“The HLF FLOW study of the West Wittering Parish ditch system took eight months to complete and used a scoring system to analyse the main attributes of the ditches. This included drainage, environmental and biodiversity aspects. In this time 255 ditches and waterways were surveyed…” Read the full report.

Appendix (Photo Examples)

Read the appendix.

Eileen Savill Award 2016

May 23rd, 2016 by Tom

WILD ART

The Award is now in its fifth year and for 2016 we want you to celebrate local wildlife with a piece of artwork.

It can be of any subject – plant, animal, your favourite wild place or view. But it must be based on first-hand observation somewhere on the Manhood Peninsula, not copied from pictures or photos – unless you took them, of course.

You can use any media, so it can be a drawing, painting, collage, sewing or 3-D work, etc. The choice is yours.

We would like you to provide a title which includes details of the subject and its location e.g. ‘A young Blackbird feeding in my garden in Selsey’

We welcome entries from any young person below 25 years of age. Prizes will be awarded for different age categories, depending on the spread and number of entries, and an overall Award winner chosen.

The closing date for entries is 31st July 2016 and you may submit your entry any time before this date.

All entries must be accompanied by the following information:

  • Name and age of entrant
  • Title of artwork
  • Name of who to contact and their email or telephone number

Artwork should be sent or delivered to 28 Vincent Road, Selsey, West Sussex PO20 9DQ. Collection can be arranged, if required.

For further information email chairmt@mwhg.org.uk

GET INVOLVED IN WILD ART

Vitacress

Sponsored by VITACRESS

Invitation to the West Wittering FLOW Outputs Session

May 11th, 2016 by Nikki

invite june 1 FLOW

FLOW Project May 2016 e-bulletin

May 11th, 2016 by Nikki

Click here to view the full e-bulletin.

may 2016 e bulletin 1

 

Coffee Morning for Sussex Wildlife Trust

March 24th, 2016 by Nikki

SWT coffee morning

FLOW Project – January 2016 e-bulletin

January 25th, 2016 by Tom

Click here to view the full e-bulletin.

jan 2016 flow project news

New Newsletter

December 15th, 2015 by Nikki

Read our new Autumn/ Winter Newsletter.

thumbnail 2015 aw newsletter

Nature Walks to Put in Your Diary

December 2nd, 2015 by Nikki

Click on the poster to get a printable pdf of our upcoming walks through Selsey.

selsey walk 2015 - 16

EILEEN SAVILL AWARD 2015

November 16th, 2015 by Tom

The presentation of the Eileen Savill Award for 2015 will take place on
Thursday 26th November in the Selsey Centre, starting at 5pm. The winners
are Hunston Brownies and runners-up are Medmerry Primary School [Years 3 &
4], Birdham Primary School and East Wittering Rainbows and Brownies. Jane
Reeve will be doing the presentations for us.

All members are very welcome to attend. For catering purposes, please let me
know if you are.

All the best,
Joe
email – joesavill@fsmail.net

What is FLOW?

November 9th, 2015 by Nikki

Flow is our newest project. Meet the FLOW team and find out more about how the project will prevent flooding and protect wildlife, at one of our open events this weekleaflet 1.1

leaflet 1.2

AGM 2015

October 22nd, 2015 by Tom

2015 AGM with Agenda

MINUTES OF THE AGM 2014

Update on East Beach Pond

October 2nd, 2015 by Dave Haldane

The volunteers of the East Beach Pond Group were awarded a gold in the conservation category of the South and South East in Bloom 2015. The small group of volunteers who meet here three times a month, and devote a further day to Selsey Common, were over the moon with this recognition of their achievement. This ecologically important site has been regularly maintained by volunteers for almost a decade. The judges scored the site 174 points out of 200 and we are already planning next years work schedule so as to maintain this high standard.

Exciting Job Opportunities in Wetlands Project

August 25th, 2015 by Tom

The FLOW project has created two new part time jobs – Project Manager and Wetlands Field Officer

FLOW – Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands Project Manager

£24,000 pa      pro rata for 4 days a week

Fixed Term contract for 8 months with a possible extension to 2020

Closing date: Friday 4th September

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.

This post will initially deliver a Wetlands Condition Assessment programme , identifying opportunities to improve the wetland network on the Manhood peninsula, working with volunteers, key organisations, landowners and the local community. The aim is to ensure that the wetland habitat is connected and managed to a high standard so that it functions for people and wildlife.

The successful candidate will have experience of managing projects, programmes and contracts, as well as managing volunteers and working with local communities. In addition, they will need to possess an ecological background and knowledge of the associated legislation.  They will have knowledge and experience of writing management plans and practical hands-on experience of land management for nature conservation, particularly in relation to wetland habitats.  They will be able to work independently as well as part of a team and be required to line manage an assistant.  A full, clean driving license is required as travel to areas that are often not accessible by public transport will be necessary.

For further details and how to apply email chairmt@mwhg.org.uk or ring 01243 607104

FLOW – Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands Field Officer

£18,000  pa

pro rata for 4 days a week

Fixed Term contract for 8 months with a possible extension to 2020

Closing date: Friday 4th September

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.

This post will initially assist in the delivery of a Wetlands Condition Assessment programme, identifying opportunities to improve the wetland network on the Manhood peninsula, working with volunteers, key organisations,  landowners and the local community. The aim is to ensure that the wetland habitat is connected and managed to a high standard so that it functions for people and wildlife.

The successful candidate will have experience of managing volunteers, ecological field surveys and practical habitat improvement work. They will have knowledge and experience of writing management plans and practical hands-on experience of land management for nature conservation, particularly in relation to wetland habitats. They will be able to work independently as well as part of a team. A full, clean driving license is required as travel to areas that are often not accessible by public transport will be necessary.

For further details and how to apply email chairmt@mwhg.org.uk or ring 01243 607104

HLF logoFLOW logo

 

Exciting News for all MWHG members

August 25th, 2015 by Tom

It is with great pleasure that the MWHG Trustees and Management Team can now announce that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded us a new grant.  This grant is called Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands, FLOW and has its own logo.

Following the success of the 3 year Water Vole Project , we applied for money with the aim of improving and enhancing the network of wetlands habitat across the whole of the Manhood Peninsula thus connecting up our internationally important wildlife sites.  This new grant provides the opportunity to create a much improved peninsula and help reduce flood risk.

Two pilot projects have taken place in the Parishes of Birdham and West Itchenor, with the support of the Parish Councils and local Flood groups. MWHG carried out an assessment of the current wetlands system and produced a costed list of management actions required.

The HLF award comes in two parts – a Development Phase (9 months) to trial our plans then, if approved, a second Delivery Phase grant to carry out all the necessary work. Provided everything runs smoothly, the project will continue for 5 years with funding to a total of  half a million pounds. Two new part time jobs will be created – those of Project Manager and Wetlands Field Officer.  MWHG has also been provided with an HLF mentor, Paul Walshe, who has both local and national knowledge.  Indeed, he designed the HLF landscape-scale awards.

Thank you to the many local organisations which supported our application.

HLF logoFLOW logo

 

New Newsletter

August 3rd, 2015 by Pam

Summer Newsletter 2015

New Newsletter

April 20th, 2015 by Pam

Spring Newsletter 2015

Newsletter Winter 2014

December 17th, 2014 by Pam

Winter 2014

Eileen Savill Award 2015

October 1st, 2014 by Tom

Time for a Challenge

We would like to invite you to take part in the Eileen Savill Award this year. This is an Environmental Award we organise for young people.

The Award has two aims: firstly, to celebrate those who are already caring for their local environment and, secondly, to encourage others to get involved. In previous years we have concentrated on the first aim by seeking nominations. This year we want to focus on the second, by encouraging young people to carry out a long term study of one aspect of the natural world. Their observations and findings can be recorded in any way they choose, such as a video, journal, artwork, CD, DVD, spreadsheet, etc., or any combination of these.

A winner or winners in each age group will be chosen and all will receive prizes. An overall winner will gain the Award.

The natural world is so diverse that the choice of subjects is extensive. The list of suggestions is by no means comprehensive and I am sure that imagination will reveal many more, so don’t be limited by it.

The Challenge

To study an aspect of nature for a year and to record your observations and findings

 Award Guidelines

  • There will be 4 age groups: 4-7 years, 8-11yrs, 12-16yrs and 17-24yrs
  • Observations may be recorded in any way you choose – artwork, photography, writing, on CD or DVD, as a spreadsheet, etc, or any combination
  • Winners will be selected for each age group and an overall winner of the Award chosen from these. All winners will receive prizes.
  • All projects/studies must be submitted by 1st July 2015. These can be collected or sent to 28 Vincent Road, Selsey, West Sussex. PO20 9DQ
  • The following information must accompany each submission:
Name and Contact details of entrant[s]
Age(s) [at date of submission]
Title/description of project/study

 

  • Although the study must be long term – covering all the seasons, the frequency and total number of observations/visits is up to you.
  • Winners will be notified by September 2015.
  • Entrants do not have to live on the Manhood Peninsula but the observations must take place there
  • Please indicate that you are taking part by emailing Joe [email below]

Suggestions for projects/studies – A Year in the Life of…

  • a tree
  • a hedge
  • a pond
  • a lawn
  • birds at feeders
  • a container garden
  • a metre square of grass
  • a metre square of soil
  • life under a stone
  • a log pile
  • a minibeast tower
  • a flower border
  • an old wall
  • a bush or shrub
  • a particular plant
  • artificial habitats
  • an area of seashore, park, reedbed, garden, meadow or any other local patch of nature

Or any idea of your own!

Contact Joe on 01243 607104 or email joesavill@fsmail.net for further details or support.

Eileen Savill lived in Selsey for almost 50 years and devoted her life to encouraging young people by teaching for 23 years at Manhood School [now The Academy, Selsey]. She always saw the potential in young people and nurtured it, even when others had written certain young people off. She was a founder member of the MWHG and contributed artwork and photographs to many of the group’s publications. Eileen loved the area and was passionate about preserving and celebrating its heritage. She was also an active volunteer in many of Selsey’s groups, including the RNLI and Camera Club. She spent her life giving.

Newsletter Autumn 2014

September 30th, 2014 by Pam

Newsletter Autumn 2014

Newsletter Summer 2014

July 12th, 2014 by Pam

Summer 2014

Water Vole trapping at the Medmerry realignment

June 24th, 2014 by Jane Reeve

In March, MWHG volunteers plus the University of Brighton carried out water vole trapping on the Medmerry realignment site.  we were looking to make sure that water voles were still making a home of some of the pre-existing ditches and to check to see if any of the new ditches designed as good water vole habitat had water voles in them.

We did find water voles, and lots of them, but not in the new habitat which was still quite raw and new.

IMG_2240Medmerry site – original ditch

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2235Water vole being checked for its condition

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eileen Savill Award 2014

April 10th, 2014 by Tom

TIME TO PRAISE YOUNG PEOPLE

Do you know young people who truly care for their environment?

 

The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group[MWHG]  is seeking nominations for the Eileen Savill Award. This is a new annual award for young people, under 25 years of age, who contribute to the conservation or celebration of the landscape, wildlife or heritage of the Manhood Peninsula, or help others learn about this special place.

 

The award is open to individuals or groups who have shown enthusiasm and commitment towards practical conservation work or learning about the wildlife and/or heritage of the area or celebrating it through art, photography, writing etc. Those nominated do not have to live on the Manhood Peninsula but their activities must relate to it.

 

Examples of actions meriting nomination could include:

 

  • Setting up a wildlife garden
  • Working for a Green Group or Gardening Club in school
  • Taking part in survey work
  • Regular volunteering for an environmental or heritage group
  • Keeping a nature diary or records of sightings
  • Helping to clean up an area
  • A research project
  • Helping others to understand more about their local heritage or wildlife
  • Leading practical conservation tasks
  • Writing, art or photography inspired by local landscapes, wildlife or  heritage

 

We welcome nominations for individuals, family groups, children/students at school, college or university, cubs, scouts, brownies, guides, members of other youth groups as well as members of conservation or history/heritage groups. Previous nominees may be nominated again.

 

The winner of the award will receive a commemorative trophy and a prize chosen to support the winner’s activities. The presentation will take place in September, 2014.

 

Last year’s winner, Stephanie Robinson, was nominated for her volunteering with the education department at Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve. The runners up were Joshua Dobbins: recognised for his practical work for wildlife in Sidlesham, and The Spaceman Community Project:  a group improving East Beach play area.

 

MWHG will be 17 years old this year. During this time it has received both local and national awards for its success in engaging people in action for local wildlife and heritage, as well as its educational work.

 

Eileen Savill lived in Selsey for almost 50 years and devoted her life to encouraging young people by teaching for 23 years at Manhood School [now The Academy, Selsey]. She always saw the potential in young people and nurtured it, even when others had written certain young people off. She was a founder member of the MWHG and contributed artwork and photographs to many of the group’s publications. Eileen loved the area and was passionate about preserving and celebrating its heritage. She was also an active volunteer in many of Selsey’s groups, including the RNLI and Camera Club. She spent her life giving.

 

 

Nomination forms can be downloaded here: Nomination form – 2014

or are available from

Joe Savill – 01243 607104.

 

Completed forms should be returned to Joe Savill, 28 Vincent Road, Selsey, West Sussex. PO20 9DQ   joesavill@fsmail.net

 

Deadline for entries is Thursday 31st July, 2014

 

Newsletter Spring 2014

March 24th, 2014 by Pam

Newsletter Spring 2014

Illustrated talk – Adventures of the Outdoor World

February 12th, 2014 by Tom
Michael Blencowe is giving an illustrated talk in Selsey shortly:
Thursday, 27th February, 7.30pm
St Peter’s Church Hall, St Peter’s Crescent, Selsey
Subject: Adventures of the Outdoor World
Those who attended the Butterfly course he took on our behalf last Spring will know what an excellent speaker he is and may welcome the chance to hear him on a different subject; those who missed the course may be pleased of another opportunity to hear such an excellent speaker.  Michael was actually elected as “speaker of the year” in his home town of Lewes when he lived there and is an untiring worker and enthusiast for wildlife in general and butterflies in particular.
Admission is £1.50, there will be refreshments and a raffle and all profits will go to Sussex Wildlife Trust.  All are welcome and are guaranteed a good evening!

Hedgerow Update January 2014

January 28th, 2014 by Felicity McStea
MPFm 16.01.14 Hazel Catkins - © FM - Comp
Hazel Catkins – ©2014 Felicity McStea

Our mid January maintenance working party was greeted by the sight of this young hedgerow’s first hazel catkins (Corylus avellana) waving in the breeze. Volunteers dodged a couple of heavy showers to do a morning’s tidying and transplant suckers of blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) to fill some of the gaps where hedging plants had failed, as  reported previously.

A Robin (Erithacus rubecula) was our constant companion, foraging in the ground that we had disturbed.  Sightings also included two Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba); Magpie (Pica pica); Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) and a Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) flying low over the field’s winter mustard crop.  We heard Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) and Dunnock (Prunella modularis) in more established hedges nearby and two Redwing (Turdus iliacus) as they overflew the site.

MPFm 16.01.14 Work Party - © FM - Comp

Volunteer Working Party – ©2014 Felicity McStea

 

Newsletter Winter 2013

December 19th, 2013 by Pam

Newsletter Winter 2013

Bonfire at Florence Pond, Nov 2013

November 22nd, 2013 by Jane Reeve

We carried out a bonfire of all dead material created at the start of October by the TCV, and our volunteers, clearing the hedge and cutting back the bramble.  We picked a dryish day and came prepared with fire lighters and kindling and before long it was really going.  There was a lot of material to burn but with the help of a trusty team from the ASHE group the dead branches, bramble and laurel was all burnt. Well done!

Before

We set up a fire site and then carefully lifted material into the fire – this way no hedgehogs or other animals could get accidently incinerated or burnt.

After

The fire was allowed with kind permission of the farmer who has been very supportive of all our work at Florence Pond.

 

Bushell’s Pond with water in it!

November 8th, 2013 by Jane Reeve

After the hard work in October, when the TCV came and cleared all the bramble form Bushell’s pond, it was great to see that there is finally water in it.  we need to have a continual plan to keep it clear of rubbish and to populate it with other marginal vegetation but it is now looking like a pond.  It was very encouraging to see a water vole in the ditch just a few metres away – on the opposite side of the road to the farm entrance.  This ditch was dug out earlier in late summer but had been dry for 3 months.  Yellow iris and water cress is sat on the bankside and will be used to populate the pond.  The water vole was seen excavating a burrow in the bank in the long grass and then swimming underwater to the other side.

Willow removal from Sheep Dip Pond

October 26th, 2013 by Jane Reeve

Natural succession can slowly fill ponds with vegetation and willow and to maintain biodiversity ponds have to be managed.  Sheep dip pond has had water vole records for the last couple of years but has slowly been over taken by willow.  After a dry summer with little rain, there were no water voles as the water left the pond.  This was an opportunity to tackle the willow, remove it and to open up the pond for other vegetation to exploit the increased light levels.

Before                                                                After

Water Vole trappi