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Survey volunteers at Pagham/Medmerry please!

We need a couple more people to carry out some Brent Geese surveys around Pagham/Medmerry. The purpose of the surveys is to plot which fields Brent Geese (and key waders) forage on, so the survey will be a mix of driving around to see if there any target species on the fields that you can see from the car, and getting out and walking to look at the areas which you can not see from the car. Each survey will take a morning, and we want to get one survey organised in the next fortnight and five more in January, February and early March.

So why are we doing this? Well, a recent successful planning application at South Pagham has highlighted that we have no proper understanding on which of the fields surrounding the Harbour our Brent Geese forage on. It turned out that one of them is now going to be built on (happily we have secured full mitigation to compensate for the loss of this field to housing). But we want to avoid this happening again in the future and the only way we can do that is to survey the whole area around the harbour and identify which fields the Brent and key waders are using. We will repeat this survey over several years.

If you can help, you will be making a real contribution to giving us the data to ensure that sufficient foraging habitat is protected to support Pagham’s wintering Brent Geese population in future years. Without this data we will struggle to oppose future planning applications and that could seriously affect the Geese and other waders.

Please contact me if you can help at conservation@sos.org.uk (or call 01903 770259)

Richard Cowser (SOS Conservation Officer).