Although the summer season and the associated tourists have now gone, our work load has not diminished. In the beginning of the month, myself, Georgie and our Farming and Wildlife Officer kayaked to the reed beds in Chichester Marina opposite the Bird Hide, to cut the sections of the reed beds. The idea was that we have exposed two areas to encourage wading birds to nest there. The two areas can also now be viewed from the bird hide.
I removed the electric fence that we had installed on Ella Nore Spit to keep predators away from nesting Terns. I did several tasks for the Harbour team as they have been extremely busy too, I removed a broken post from the boat ramp at Prinsted, collected a withy that had washed up at Bosham and we helped them repair the ferry footpath leading up to Bosham where a vessel had damaged the footpath.
Upcoming projects - we have taken delivery of a large quantity of Millboard to build a new ‘floating footpath' in Fishbourne Meadows in the areas where there is limited sunlight in the winter causing the area to become a quagmire. Another ongoing project is we took delivery of 200 tons of crushed rock to rebuild the sea wall by hand north of Cobnor Activity Centre. Our volunteers have been instrumental with helping us with this project.
I skippered our works boat, to assist IFCA Sea Fisheries Officers to do a small fish survey off Pilsey Island. We caught a good variety of fish species on the day which is a good indicator that the Harbour is a thriving marine habitat for juvenile fish.
The Friends of Chichester Harbour have assisted us with three tasks this month, Habitat management at Earnley Road Nature Reserve; Tree weeding and clearing bramble at our Nutbourne Farm SSSI site in accordance to our management plan and finally habitat management at The Dell in Chidham. Thanks to all your hard efforts, team.
Finally, we hosted a Countryside Day at Eames Farm, where we the rangers asked the visitors on the day to help us build an Osprey nest. We provided all the materials and mostly the children helped us build the nest out of natural timber that we had collected off the foreshore of the Harbour and out of Old Park Woods.