FLOW E-Bulletin July 2018

We have been very busy with surveying over the Spring and Summer – looking at ditches and hedges in Sidlesham and recording lots of species at different sites across the area. It is always fun to explore a new location and to see what we find.

This Heritage Lottery Funded Project is focused on assessing the many ditches and waterways on the Manhood Peninsula to see how this network of wetland habitat is linked, identify areas of improvement for drainage and habitat improvement, and to highlight the benefits of well-managed ditches for people and wildlife.




FLOW – Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands

This Heritage Lottery Funded Project is 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.


Welcome to our July 2018 e-bulletin


Read the pdf version of this e-bulletin

This is our second edition of the FLOW e-bulletin in 2018 and it will up-date you on progress of the project. If you don’t already, you can keep in the loop by checking the blog and by following us on Facebook and Twitter, where we regularly announce events and post pictures of our surveys and work parties in action.



A big THANK YOU to some particularly hard-working volunteers who have marched their way across Sidlesham Parish, collecting data about ditches and hedges. Also, thanks to Sarah Hughes at CDC who had helped with a couple of council related issues.


What have the FLOW team been up to?

It’s been a busy few months as FLOW staff and volunteers have tackled ditch surveys and conservation tasks across Sidlesham Parish. Due to this fantastic effort, the Sidlesham phase of the project is nearing completion. The surveys we carry out enable us to identify the opportunities for habitat improvement over the coming winter and also monitor progress on sites we have already worked on.


Welcome to our new FLOW volunteers. We would also like to thank the students and staff members from Seaford College who helped out tree tagging at West Itchenor Pond.


During the Spring and Summer there is a group of volunteers that works hard to carry out moth trapping every Saturday morning at sites across the peninsula. This is in part a response to an ecological consultant in 2011 at a Public Inquiry that called the MP a wildlife desert. So, we have made it our mission to get species records for every grid square on the peninsula – if you want a moth trap set up in your garden = let us know! Rosy Footman (Miltochrista miniata) brilliant photo by Brian Henham

Manor Green Park BioBlitz We carried out a BioBlitz at Manor Green Park in Selsey in June, supported by the Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre who delivered iRecord training for us. We surveyed plants, butterflies, moths, other insects, reptiles, birds and mammals. We had a great day engaging with local residents, MWHG volunteers, RSPB volunteers, and the local nursery onsite who came to look at the moths. We recorded 110 species.


Statistics for Sidlesham

Number of Fieldwork days 90+
Volunteers that have helped out Again, we have had great help from Ian, Max,
Sian, Chris B and Alex.
Length of ditches surveyed 15+miles
Approximate % ditch coverage of the parish 90%
How many ditches surveyed by volunteers? 500+
Number of hedgerows surveyed 100+
Length of hedgerows surveyed 9000+ metres (5.6miles)
Number of landowner’s land surveyed 34
Number of Ash tree records to date 100+


Species Surveying

Field Officer Chris Drake reports on FLOW’s Species Surveying 2017/18


2017 Survey Results

In 2017 we surveyed four sites to find a representation of base line of data. This will help us determine how we do our habitat improvement work in the winter. Our 4 sites are Hilton Business Park, Cakeham Manor, Hale Farm and West Itchenor during May, June, July, August. The weather conditions during the survey period were sometimes challenging, wind and cool temperatures have not favoured the surveying. Here are some of the results from last year.

West Itchenor Number Of Survey Days Number and name of species recorded Total Species
Butterflies 8 23 Speckled Wood, 18 Meadow Brown, 4 Red Admiral, 2
Comma, 4 Large White, 7 Small White, 6 Green-Veined, 1
Painted Lady and 3 Gate Keeper.
Birds 5 32 Black Bird, 6 Black Cap, 2 Black Headed Gull, 19 Blue
Tit, 8 Great Tit, 2 Green Finch, 5 Buzzard, 11 Carrion Crow,
8 Chiff Chaff, 7 Chaffinch, 7 Collard Dove, 9 Dunnock, 3
Gold Crest, 15 Gold Finch, 1 Great Spotted Wood Pecker,
4 Green Wood Pecker, 5 Jack Daw, 2 Kestral, 3 Long
Tailed Tit, 5 Magpie, 2 Moorhen 9 Robin, 5 Song Thrush,
10 House Sparrow, 4 Swallow, 21 Wren, 20 House Martin,
1 Tree Creeper, 1 Nut Hutch, 1 Mallard, 1 Pheasant, and
Reptiles/ Amphibians 6 15 Common Frog (Young) 15
Mammals 6 2 Field Vole (Adult) 2
Bats 6 Common Pipistrelle Bat 6 passes, Soprano Pipistrelle 15
21 passes


The West Itchenor site is known for its good population of Speckled Wood Butterfly. In winter 2016/17 MWHG and the local group opened small sections of woodland. This really helps this species flourish through a mixture of shade and sun across the site.

This is home to a good population of Wood Peckers. Both green’s and Great Spots seem to take refuge in the area’s of standing dead wood. MWHG and the local group have made sure that these trees are left standing. During the summer period we deployed 3 reptile tins to attract Amphibian and Reptiles. Small common frogs and Field Voles have been recorded during 2017. No Grass Snakes or Newts to date. We have also been recording the bat activity around the site. Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle and been recorded on 2 surveys. Most of the bats where recorded over the water.

Species Surveying 2018 so far

May, June, July 2018 our staff and volunteers have been working hard surveying on a large number of sites. Cakeham Manor, West Itchenor, Tile Barn Lane, Hale Farm, Hilton Business Park, Hunston Pond and Birdham Pond. Sunny warm conditions have made surveying fairly rewarding this year so far.

West Itchenor 

Amazingly this year we have recorded 67 butterflies, which contain 10 varied species. Speckled Wood, Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Gate Keeper, Meadow Brown, Green-Veined and Holly Blue. We think the increase in butterflies recorded over a brief period was down to the good weather and habitat suitability.

Equally we have conducted 1 bird survey and have recorded 48 birds which include 17 varied species. Chiff chaff, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Black Bird, Black Cap, Wren, Robin, Great Spotted Wood Pecker, Great Tit, Green Wood Pecker, Wren, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Jack Daw, House Martin and Kestrel.

We have also deployed reptile tins in a grassier location to try and locate Grass Snake. July this year a student from Seaford College found our 1st recorded Grass Snake for this site.

Recording Wildlife Species

It is extremely important that everyone records the wildlife that they see as this information is very valuable. Frequently we are told that a species does not live in an area or habitat as there are no records for it when in fact, no surveys have taken place or records submitted. The birds and insects that you see in your gardens or out and about on walks are all important to record – even those you think are common such as Starlings and House Sparrows. This data can be put on iRecord via the Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre website or the MWHG website. This information can then be used to ensure that habitats and sensitive species are taken into consideration during planning decisions.

Sidlesham Parish Information Session

There will be a short presentation about FLOW and the wildlife in the parish. Then there will be an opportunity to look at maps we have created of other parishes, and to collate information about Sidlesham that participants can offer.

Thursday, 9th August 2018 6:00pm – 8:00pm midday St Mary’s Church Hall, Church Farm Lane, Sidlesham

Next up, surveying in Selsey and Hunston Parishes….we need more help! As we come to the end of surveying in Sidlesham we are looking forward to Selsey and Hunston parishes. We would love some help so please keep an eye on our website calendar and social media for an updated work schedule. We are also looking at the winter physical work programme carry out improvements on many sites. Very exciting, lots of fun and lots of cake to eat!

Please email Jane jane@jssj.co.uk or Rebecca
hello@mwhg.org.uk if you would like to get involved.


Getting Involved – Current Opportunities

Fieldwork – We have lots of opportunities for volunteers to help with fieldwork – including hundreds of ditch assessments to do and would like to extend this work to pond dipping and botanical surveys. We also have fields and lanes full of hedgerows to note. Full training given.

Events and promotion – With the summer having started we are getting out there and engaging the public at village fetes and events. We’ll would love some volunteer support and so if you’re as proud of the work MWHG does as we are, then please contact Rebecca to discuss how you could help out.

Data input – we have not used any volunteers for this yet as have been ensuring that the spreadsheet is easy to update and can be used for GIS and mapping. For the next phase of the project we would be pleased to have help with this area, training will be given, and eventually we may be able to offer a place for volunteers to enter data.

Mink monitoring co-ordinator – Jane is looking for a volunteer to help collate mink data and input into spreadsheet. This valuable role will take no more than an hour per week so please don’t hesitate to contact Jane for a chat if you want to find out more.

Please do contact Jane or Rebecca if you would like to get involved in our work
jane@jssj.co.uk or hello@mwhg.org.uk

Grass Snake recorded by Seaford College Students at West Itchenor

Grass Snake recorded by Seaford College Students at West Itchenor

Please let us know what you think of our e-bulletin by emailing jane@jssj.co.uk

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Selsey 1918 to 2018 – Fishing and Tourism Exhibition

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

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MWHG 20th Anniversary Photo Competition

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

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Spring/ Summer Newsletter Now Available

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

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Health Risk Notice: Brown-tail Moth Prevalence

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

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Blitzed! Over 100 Species Recorded at Manor Green Park

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

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Eileen Savill Award for Young People 2018

Last year’s Eileen Savill Award Winners Lilah and Mia

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.

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

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.

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Introduction to New Trustee Dr Lesley Bromley

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

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Let Nature Improve Your Garden

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



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