One of the ways we deliver our remit is through a series of partnerships, both formal and informal. These partnerships help us to engage with lots of different Harbour user groups who may not otherwise encounter the work of the Conservancy.

Our partners are either specialists in their field, providing valuable research and conservation work or help us with community engagement, like the Friends of Chichester Harbour and The Harbour Trust. One of our specialist partnerships is Bird Aware Solent. Bird Aware Solent is made up of fifteen local councils covering the Solent region, Natural England, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, and Chichester Harbour Conservancy.

Bird Aware Solent is an initiative to raise awareness of the birds that spend the winter on the Solent, so that people can enjoy the coast and its wildlife without disturbing the birds.

Every year up to 125,000 waders and wildfowl fly here from as far as the Arctic. This makes the Solent coast of worldwide importance for wildlife. The birds need to feed and rest undisturbed so that they can survive the winter and build up enough energy to fly back to their summer habitats. Their survival relies on everyone helping to prevent bird disturbance.

With Chichester Harbour representing one of the most popular nesting and overwintering sites in the Solent, our role in minimising recreational disturbance and providing a welcoming and safe habitat is extremely important. We could not achieve this without the help and support of the Bird Aware Solent rangers. The rangers engage with visitors and communities along the coast to help people learn about the different species of bird and understand the impact of bird disturbance.

As well as providing a useful educational link for the community, Bird Aware Solent rangers also educate our patrol teams and work across all the partnership’s stakeholders to monitor and share data on migration patterns, helping us understand more about the wildlife that calls the Solent home.

During the current period of lockdown, Bird Aware Solent have posted some fun games and resources on their website for you to find out more about the birds of the Solent.  There is also some interesting information on the birds you can expect to see during the summer months