Dear Volunteers and Supporters,
After a busy summer, packed with activities for heritage and wildlife lovers alike, we have four project updates to share with you in this edition, plus details about a free outdoor event taking place this September.
Please read on for an invitation to this year's significant AGM.
25th Anniversary AGM: Looking Back, Looking Forward
By MWHG Team | 25 Years of MWHG
Please join us for a special Annual General Meeting, where we will be celebrating 25 years as a Group. A light lunch will be provided, so please RSVP via our contact form to help us plan for catering. AGM details:
14th October 2023
10:30 am to 2:00 pm
Selsey Town Hall, 55 High St, Selsey, Chichester PO20 0RB
By Joe Savill | The Beryl James Selsey Tree Nursery
We are looking for volunteers to collect native tree seed for us this autumn, from across the Manhood Peninsula. This will then be processed and sown to become next year’s young trees growing on in the nursery. It’s a fun activity for all the family!
If you’d like to help, please get in touch with the project leader, Joe Savill, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also still looking for more helpers at the nursery itself so do contact us if you’re interested.
By Joe Savill | Selsey Photo Archive
If you’re interested in local heritage here are some ways of getting involved in this exciting project. We particularly need help with the following:
Researching and Cataloguing photos
Developing the website – this mainly involves adding information in the form of new photos, blogs, locations etc. Training is available but it is not difficult.
Managing our Facebook page
Researching and writing blogs about individual photos or groups of photos – telling the story behind the photos
We’re a friendly group, committed to researching and celebrating Selsey’s history, so do get involved. You’ll be most welcome. To find out more, please get in touch with the project leader, Joe Savill, at email@example.com.
Wittering Area Community Conservation Project Update
By Louise Barnetson | Wittering Area Community Conservation Project
Buzzards spotted by volunteers on our camera trap footage, recorded in Almodington
Throughout the months of June and July we continued with weekly moth and bat surveys in the parishes of West Wittering, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Earnley, West Itchenor and Birdham, and then took a break from our activities during August. Our habitat management work ceases during these key summer months for wildlife, and will begin again in September. We have a lot of work planned for the autumn/winter season and need more volunteers to help us in creating and improving habitat for wildlife. Please get involved!
At our final moth trapping session of the summer, at the end of July, we were joined by a representative of the BBC to film us and record interviews with some of the volunteers. This is because MWHG was selected as one of four finalists in the Green Award category of the annual Make a Difference Awards, which recognises people and groups who make life better for others in their communities. The interviews that were recorded featured on programmes on BBC Radio Sussex in August – you might still be able to catch them on BBC Sounds if you missed it.
Also, over the summer, we have recruited volunteers to carry out wildlife surveys of some of our sites. This has involved volunteers visiting a particular site independently and spending at least half an hour observing whatever wildlife they see, which could be anything from birds, bees, butterflies, mammals, or reptiles. Volunteers are encouraged to photograph the wildlife, where possible, and upload all records to iRecord. Training on how to use iRecord was provided and we are happy to re-run this training for anyone who is interested. All the data uploaded to iRecord is made available to the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre (SxBRC), as well as any other interested agencies.
Complementing this, we have been putting out camera traps to record species that visit the sites. This is particularly useful for capturing those animals that are easily disturbed by the presence of humans, and those that visit only at night. This has included badgers, foxes, deer, water voles, and birds of prey. Volunteers have also patiently, and painstakingly, helped with sifting through all the camera trap images and videos to identify the animals caught on camera. This is something that can be done from home and is a huge help to us as it takes hours to go through each camera which make contain hundreds of images, sometimes looking at lots of pictures of a twig moving in the breeze just to find that one brilliant image!
Some of the species recorded by us this summer: roe deer, water voles and badgers.
Thank you so much to all the volunteers who have helped with surveying over the summer months, whether it be attending a moth ID session and pondering for ages over the ID of one little brown insect, sitting out late on a summer evening waiting for bats to turn up, counting birds and butterflies at one of our sites, or pouring over camera images. We couldn’t do it without you! We look forward to seeing you over the coming months.
Selsey Tramway Project Update
By Bill Martin | Selsey Tramway Project
There is a walking guide, a website, an interactive map, signage and information boards at the sites of the 11 stations along the route.
The next part of the project is the restoration of Chalder Station where the platform and base of the waiting room, when clear of vegetation, are clearly visible.
The Novium Museum will host an exhibition on The Selsey Tramway from June 2024 until March 2026. We are currently planning the content for a film as part of the display.
Walk the Selsey Tramway 126th Anniversary Event
20 people took part in a walk at the end of August to mark the 126th anniversary of the first train to run between Chichester and Selsey. The aim is to make this an annual event.
One Thousand Wildlife Records
By Nikki Timney | Find Wildlife From Home Survey
Our supporters have been very busy over the summer tracking and photographing wildlife. Throughout June and August, we received an amazing 181 wildlife records (around half of which included photo evidence!), pushing our grand total passed the 1000 mark and all the way to 1150 records! A huge thank you goes out to everyone who has helped us reach this incredible milestone.
High numbers of wildlife records, taken throughout all months of the year, really help to build a detailed picture of the biodiversity in an area. Another key part of recording is to revisit the same locations annually, so that patterns and changes can be measured in the data over time.
To encourage revisits, the National Biological Records Centre (BRC) has recently introduced 'Targeting Revisits Maps' to highlight where they need updated wildlife records. BRC says "...we can only use data from sites visited in more than one year...If people revisited [these locations] then we could include data from more sites in our analyses". Learn more and view the maps here on the BRC's website.
Be sure to tell us about the wildlife you've seen in your garden, neighbourhood and surrounding local area and we will also submit your records to the National Biological Records Centre on your behalf.
Survey Results for July and August 2023
11 butterfly species, including:
19 Small Whites
7 Holly Blues
14 Red Admirals
12 Large Whites
1 Small Copper
54 moths species, including:
21 Light Brown Apple Moths
2 Brimstone Moths
2 Box Tree Moths
4 Silver Ys
1 Jersey Tigers
2 Small Purple & Golds
1 Hummingbird Hawkmoth
18 more insect, mammal & bird species, including:
4 Common Darters
2 Common Carder Bees
1 Marmalade Hoverfly
3 Field Grasshoppers
To find out how to take part in our wildlife survey, click on the button below.
The Pollinator Highway Project
By Lesley Bromley | Selsey Pollinator Highway Project
Our wildflower verges have flowered beautifully over the summer, and we have had plenty of rain to encourage growth! We mowed the edge of the sites to make a path for pedestrians and we are now waiting for seeds to form and drop.
We will cut and rake the sites in October once we are confident that seeds have had a chance to drop to the ground.