Rangers Diary

September 2015

September 2015

We started the month off with the annual Countryside Day Event at Eames Farm, Thorney Island. The event was a huge success and Georgie and I spent the day helping children build bat boxes which they could take away and put up at their own homes.

Following that event Georgie and I went down to the south of Thorney Island to do a beach clean, and counted 27 Seals that had hauled out on the mud banks at Marker Point. Later during the month on two separate occasions I saw an Osprey perching on the landing lights near Thornham Point. It was the highlight of the month for me.

With our seasonal ranger Stephen, we finished our annual footpath cutting programme in the harbour, but we will still respond to any reports that may come in of footpaths that need cutting back before winter sets in.

Our autumn programme with the Friends of Chichester Harbour work parties started this month at Maybush Copse, with the volunteers clearing footpaths from weeds, laying woodchips on footpaths, and I installed a new post designed to be used as a perch by birds of prey. Secondly we held a session in Beakys Wildlife Walk, Dell Quay. We rebuilt one of the ponds as the timber frame was rotten, and had a general tidy up of the site for the forthcoming school term. This session was filmed by Millstream Productions, who were making a short film about volunteering with the Friends of Chichester Harbour.

Finally we did a session at Cortice Copse, Thorney Island, clearing gorse and tree weeding in this young woodland.

Our Volunteer Rangers helped us out on two occasions this month, firstly at The Dell, Chidham, clearing cut logs from around a large Oak tree that sadly had to be felled. Secondly we removed the electric fence from Ella Nore Spit now that the Little Terns have finished their breeding season.

The list of other jobs that came in this month were varied, with us doing a litter pick in Cobnor car park, replacing various Salterns Way  signs that had faded and were illegible. I removed some metal posts that had become exposed on a coastal footpath that had the potential to be trip hazard. The report came in from a member of the public, to which we are grateful as we have over 90km of footpaths to look after in the AONB.

I replaced a broken rail under a footbridge in Fishbourne Meadows, to stop the cattle from venturing up stream and possiabily damaging the fragile stream bank that flows through the Meadows. Along another footpath leading into the Meadows two trees had fallen over a public footpath making it unsafe to pass. We used our polesaw to cut the over-hanging branches off, leaving as much of the tree to continue growing in its natural state.

Enjoy the Harbour as the autumn colours will soon appear and please read Georgie's Rangers Diary next month.

Keith Rathbone