News archive

February 2016

Friday, 26 February 2016

new Spring Programme for Pagham and Medmerry

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Friday, 26 February 2016

European Action Plan to combat illegal poisoning of wildlife.

European Action Plan to combat illegal poisoning of wildlife.

The RSPB has joined forces with SEO to set up the European Network against Environmental Crimes (ENEC), an organisation that aims to improve the implementation of EU laws on protecting the environment. Earlier this month, ENEC adopted a proposal for a European Action Plan to combat illegal poisoning of wildlife. The document proposes a co-ordinated strategy for all Member States to prevent, deter, monitor and, ultimately, prosecute cases of illegal poisoning within the EU.

Poisoned baits (a food item laced with insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides or herbicides) are used in the EU (and in many other countries around the world) to kill predators deemed a threat to livestock and game species. Such poisons are a threat to bird species such as Common Crane, Spanish Imperial and Eastern Imperial Eagles, Red Kite and Egyptian Vulture. Large numbers of birds are killed annually as a result of the illegal use of poisoned baits. They also endanger other wildlife, as they can be eaten by an animal that wasn't the intended target.Juan Carlos Atienza, head of the conservation unit at SEO, commented: "Many migratory species are threatened by the use of poisoned baits. The problem is that they are not equally protected against illegal poisoning in all territories throughout their flyway. It is useless to act against the use of poisoned baits in one EU country if the effort is not the same in neighbouring countries, where the birds could eventually die from poisoning."

The action plan  created with the help of representatives of 20 EU countries, BirdLife partners, judges, prosecutors, hunters and law enforcement officials  proposes measures to improve the data available on and generate awareness of the use and impact of poisoned baits; to increase prevention, deterrence and monitoring of cases of poisoning of wildlife; actions to increase efficiency in prosecuting the illegal use of poison according to EU and Member States' legislations; and control the sale of toxic substances likely to be used for preparing poisoned bait.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Watch 4 Wildlife at Sea Days

Watch 4 Wildlife at Sea Days

MARINElife is a leading charity conserving marine wildlife through research and education.

Our core offshore work is in researching distribution, abundance and population trends for whales, dolphins, seabirds and other marine animals from commercial vessels. We have a particular interest in White-Beaked Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Cuvier's Beaked Whales and Balearic Shearwaters. We operate year-round surveys along fixed 'transect' routes through the Channel, Bay of Biscay, North Sea, Irish Sea and wider Atlantic Ocean working on ferries, freight ships, cruise liners and smaller recreational boats. As a leading charity in the proactive conservation of marine wildlife through research and education, MARINElife relies on a diverse team of highly-valued volunteers.

Our focus species include whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and seabirds in European waters.

We are always eager to welcome volunteers or help those with a general interest learn more. This Watch 4 Wildlife Day is ideal which ever category you fall into.

Many of MARINElife volunteers go on to have careers in the field of marine mammal observation or in scientific marine mammal and seabird research. The survey work with MARINElife has provided the foundation for their passion and the knowledge for their career next steps.

Why join MARINElife onboard the ferry for the Watch 4 Wildlife Day?

Ferries are not only an excellent connection to the mainland for an Island like the British Isles, but they also cross offshore waters which are rich in marine wildlife and give the chance to encounter species which may be challenging to see from land. MARINElife has been operating monthly research surveys on the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry since 2012 and know that a range of marine mammals and seabirds can be seen. This crossing will be guided by two of MARINElife's experienced researchers who will be pointing out the wildlife we encounter, helping with identification tips and for those interested, showing them how a research survey is conducted in a real life scenario.

No other organisation has been carrying out ferry-based research for longer than MARINElife whose work started in the early 1990's. MARINElife leads the science of ferry-based survey collection and was a founder and coordinates the Atlantic Research Coalition (ARC), now known as the European Cetacean Monitoring Network (ECMN) which brings together data gathered by multiple organisations conducting scientific data on whales and dolphins. MARINElife is one of the few organisations collecting data on seabirds from ferries.

Like all wildlife, there are no guarantees and as we will be on the outer decks of a ship, we will also be subject to the weather (no refunds unless the crossing is cancelled by the ferry company). We advise those interested in participating to bring warm clothing as the wind on deck can be very cold, but also suncream and sunglasses in case the sun is shining. Binoculars are also strongly recommended to get better and closer views of the wildlife we will pass during the crossing.


Watch 4 Wildlife Day: 8.45am arrival (Newhaven port) returning at 9pm. Food is available onboard, but meals are not provided.

Watch 4 Wildlife Day fee: £65. Please request a booking and payment form by contacting

If you are enquiring on behalf of a group e.g. colleges, universities, U3A please contact for further information

Friday, 12 February 2016

National Nest Box WeeK

National Nest Box WeeK

Many of the UK's birds will struggle to find a suitable nesting site for the breeding season. The 19th National Nest Box Week (NNBW), starting on Valentine's Day, encourages people to put up a nest box in their local area. The week is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and sponsored by Jacobi Jayne. People are also encouraged to sign up for Nest Box Challenge (NBC) to report what happens in their box.

Potential nesting sites are disappearing due to the renovation of old buildings, the loss of woodland habitat and tidy gardens with a lack of suitable tree holes. Anyone can help provide more space by putting up a nest box.
Different types of nest boxes can provide homes for different types of bird. House Sparrows need a small-hole type nest box with a 32mm entrance hole. Robins will use open-fronted type nest boxes, preferably tucked away in a bit of cover. You can even provide nesting space for House Martins by fixing an artificial nesting cup just below the eaves.

Your nest box can provide valuable data to scientists monitoring UK bird populations. Nest Box Challenge, which is free to join, involves regularly looking in your box and using an online form to report any eggs or chicks inside. Data on how well birds are breeding in our changing climate is vitally important and will be used to direct conservation efforts.

Jonathan Warrin of the BTO says, "Anyone can find a space for a bird box, whether you have a garden or want to get permission to put up a box in your local park. Seeing birds raising chicks in the box is a great way for people, young and old, to connect with nature. Don't leave birds out in the cold, get involved with National Nest Box Week."
Hazel Evans, Nest Box Challenge Organiser at the BTO, said, "Nest boxes give us the opportunity to easily collect data on the breeding success of cavity nesting birds which can be difficult to collect from natural cavities. We need people with nest boxes to tell us what is happening in those boxes during the breeding season. So, if you have a nest box you can help."

For more information, please visit

See the link below for 'do's and don'ts' on siting your next box

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Save your Stamps

Message from Pagham Reserve:
Just to let you and your members know, we now have a stamp collection box for our 'Save the Albatross' appeal in our Visitor Centre here at Pagham Harbour. Any used stamps can be dropped off here in our 'collection box'.

Further information regarding the appeal and what we are doing can be found on our website - see link below
Many thanks,

Roy Newnham
Visitor Experience Officer

Pagham Harbour and Medmerry Visitor Centre, Selsey Road, Sidlesham, West Sussex, PO20 7NE
Tel 01243 641508
Mobile 07703 885322

Tuesday, 2 February 2016



A team of coastal rangers has started work on the Solent coast to help protect the thousands of birds that spend the winter along our shores.

The Solent is internationally important for its over-wintering birds, with 90,000 waders and more than 10 per cent of the world's Brent Geese. Many of these waders and wildfowl fly thousands of miles to spend the winter here. Dark-bellied Brent Geese for instance come all the way from northern Siberia. Whilst on the Solent, the birds must be able to feed undisturbed if they are to build up enough energy reserves to survive the winter here and complete their migratory journey back to their breeding grounds.

The Solent is also renowned for its coastal walks and other recreational opportunities. It attracts an estimated 52 million visits by people each year, and planned new housing is set to increase that figure to 60 million. People who are walking along the shore can, often unintentionally, disturb the birds. So local authorities and conservation bodies are working together - through the recently formed Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership - to prevent that disturbance.

Through funding from developers in association with planning permissions for new housing, the Partnership has established a team of rangers who will talk to visitors at the coast to help them understand how they can enjoy their walk without disturbing the birds. Each day the rangers will be at different sections of the Solent coast - between Hurst Castle near Lymington and West Wittering, including Chichester, Portsmouth and Langstone Harbours, and on the Isle of Wight coast between Colwell (near Freshwater) and Bembridge.

Commenting on the start of the ranger patrols, Partnership Chairman Councillor Seán Woodward said "Our aim is to ensure that public access to the coast is maintained but is carefully managed to avoid disturbance to the birds which are such an important feature of our shores. The rangers will help achieve that aim, and at no cost to local taxpayers