Over 90,000 waders and wildfowl migrate to the Solent each winter from as far away as Siberia. This makes the Solent coastline of worldwide importance for birds. When people visit the coast, they may prevent the birds from feeding if they disturb them. This can mean the birds do not have enough energy to survive the winter and fly back to breed at their summer habitats.
The Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership of local authorities and conservation bodies has created the ‘Bird Aware Solent’ campaign to help coastal visitors be aware of the vulnerability of migrating birds. As part of the campaign, a team of rangers and a new website – www.birdaware.org – will guide coastal visitors on which birds to look out for and how best to avoid disturbing them. The website also has information about forthcoming educational events around the coast.
Welcoming the launch, Partnership Chairman Councillor Seán Woodward, said:
“I would encourage everyone to look at this bright new website which contains lots of interesting facts. It’s good news too, as these initiatives, including the ranger service, are funded by housebuilders at no cost to council taxpayers.”
The Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership was established in 2014. It comprises all 15 local authorities around the Solent, Natural England, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Chichester Harbour Conservancy.