What is FLOW?
FLOW (fixing and linking our wetlands) is a Heritage Lottery Funded Project to carry out a complete condition assessment of all the ditches on the Manhood Peninsula, habitat surveys of all the Parishes, and develop costed management plans to help prioritise improvement.
Ditches and waterways are a large linked habitat on the Manhood Peninsula, that connect the protected areas of Pagham Harbour, Medmerry and Chichester Harbour, and their care and upkeep is not just of benefit to wildlife but increasingly to people as more frequent flooding events take place. Well maintained ditches, ponds and rifes allow water to be stored or flow away to the sea, lowering the risk of flooding and providing a stable and important home to many species, including the fast declining water vole.
By carrying out ditch assessment work, problem areas can be identified and then targeted for future maintenance and improvement. Previous projects in Birdham and West Itchenor have found blockages in culverts, poorly maintained ditches, piping that is not fit for purpose, filled in ditches and abandoned ponds. These can all have a contributing effect on flooding and therefore people and wildlife. Improving this linked habitat will benefit all and ensure that the Manhood Peninsula remains an attractive place to live, a successful tourist destination and is more resilient to flooding and climate change.
Who will do the Work?
The FLOW Project will recruit and train local volunteers to carry out the assessments alongside a Field Officer, and will deliver information workshops to ditch and pond owners and managers about wetlands and how they should look and function; providing information on rare species, legislation, vegetation cutting options etc.
What are the outputs?
The Project will look to source grants and resources to carry out the physical restoration work prioritised in the costed management plans. The habitat surveys of the Parishes will inform the overall wetland management as hedgerows can be targeted for improvement to combat soil erosion, buffer zones developed to fight polluting runoff and areas identified for temporary water storage.
Read our FLOW project reports for detailed information on the aims, findings and implementation of our action plans.
If you are interested in getting involved in the FLOW Project or would like more information then please do contact:
Jane Reeve: FLOW Project Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Drake: FLOW Field Officer, email@example.com
We would like to encourage local people to get involved and interested in the ditches and ponds in their parishes. They are an important asset to help manage water during high rainfall events, and can be an attractive and rich wetland feature increasing biodiversity and providing a home to rare species.