A recent Saturday morning saw a huge crowd of seventy volunteers taking part in the biggest clean up and litter pick on Weston Shore to date. The event, part of the Autumn Beach Clean series of events organised by Surfers Against Sewage, saw people from far and wide taking part, including eager participants from the Marine Conservation Society at the University of Southampton, Southampton Greenpeace, Solent University’s Student Union and Friends of Weston Shore.
In a few short hours, this army of keen beach combers cleared up roughly fifty bags of rubbish, including a sack of cement. The Friends of Weston Shore were delighted to be involved in Surfers Against Sewage’s fantastic campaign and are grateful to everyone who took part in helping with our ongoing campaign to try and keep the beach as clean and litter free as possible. Special thanks are due to Mairin Williams for all her energy and interest in our shore and also Cliff Culver from Surfers Against Sewage for taking part and talking about his interest in sea glass and its beauty. As always, our thanks to Southampton City Council, without whose help the beach cleans would not be possible, and in particular Martin Wilcox and his colleagues.
Our Annual General Meeting this year is on Thursday 30th November at 7pm, Woolston Community Centre, Church Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9FU. We’ve had an amazing year, the highlights of which include being awarded the Southampton City Care for the Environment Award, the Sea Life Discovery Day and having the largest litter pick ever on the shore earlier this month.
Come and visit us and help us look forward to 2018 and plan the year ahead. Its free to attend and there will be tea, coffee and biscuits!
You can also find this event on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/events/478695582529969/
Hope to see you there!
There’s another great chance to help us clean up the beach on Saturday 14th October 2017 between 11am and 2pm. The Friends of Weston Shore are teaming up with Surfers Against Sewage and Solent University Student Union and we are looking forward to seeing lots of people on the shore to help. This event is part of Surfers Against Sewage’s Autumn Beach Clean campaign and we are delighted that they have included our beautiful beach.
The starting point will be near the Pitch and Putt Course and the On the Water Café on Weston Shore, Weston Parade, Southampton. We hope that you can join us. Litter picking is easy, fun work and to look back afterwards and see the beach looking beautifully clean is a wonderful feeling.
For more details, have a look at the Surfers Against Sewage’s Facebook page for the event:
Our next meeting is set for 7pm on Thursday 31st August 2017 at Woolston Community Centre, Church Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9FU.
We will be joined by a special guest from Bird Aware Solent to talk about what they do and how we might be able to work together. You are very welcome to visit our meeting and will be very welcome.
We shall all be discussing our future plans, including our next litter pick, which is Saturday 16th September starting at 11am. This litter pick is with our friends from the Marine Conservation Society and will start from the car park on Weston Parade opposite to the entrance on Westwood (that is the end of the shore nearest to Netley).
The Friends of Weston Shore are excited and delighted that Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trusts are running a Sea Life Discovery Day at Weston Shore next Saturday, 12th August 2017. This is a twelve hour dash to record as much wildlife on the shore as possible. Wildlife Experts, including Phil Budd from the Southampton Natural History Society, will be there to help identify all the different species.
The Trust says children are welcome, as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult. This free, family friendly day runs from 9am to 9pm and their starting point is at the Rolling Mills, near the Pitch and Putt course on the shore. Please wear wellies if you are going to take part.
For more information, go to the Trust’s Facebook event here:
The Friends of Weston Shore will be there as well to join in the fun!
Variegated Scallop (Chlamys varia)
Common Shore Crab
Weston Shore looking clean and beautiful after the litter pick
Nettled Dog Whelk
On a beautiful early summer morning recently, the Friends of Weston Shore were delighted to meet new friends, volunteers from Royal Bank of Scotland. We held a litter pick on the shore and soon the volunteers had cleared up a lot of rubbish.
We are very grateful to them for all their help in supporting our goal of keeping the shore as clean as we can. Have a look at our slideshow of photos from the day.
from ecologist Philip Budd
Since the completion of my much-acclaimed Wildlife Survey of Weston Shore 2015 Report (published December 2015) there have been a few new discoveries on the shore. Two new plants were added to the list for the shore on 17th June 2016, these were Marsh Woundwort Stachys palustris and Annual Beard-grass Polypogon monspeliensis, both at the eastern end of the shore. The Annual Beard-grass often occurs as a casual by walls and on bare ground in urban areas, but it is also a scarce coastal grassland and dry saltmarsh native and listed in the Hampshire Rare Plant Register (Rand & Mundell, 2011). It was found in this latter habitat at Weston Shore. Another species in the Rare Plant Register, Slender Hare’s-ear, continues to thrive at its site near the children’s playground on the shore. Another important discovery was of 30 spikes of Bee Orchid Ophrys apifera, reported to me in June 2016. I have not described the location as it would be disastrous if these flowers were ever to be picked because orchids invest a lot more energy in flower production than other plants do. There is also a single Bee Orchid coming up along Jurd’s Lake Way.
A new leaf beetle to the shore, Chrysolina banksii (nothing to do with the famous street artist of similar name) was discovered at the eastern end of the shore in August 2016 and a Stonechat was a welcome sighting in scrub in the rolling mills area in January 2017. Also at the western end of the shore on the low, crumbling cliffs near the sailing club a colony of many thousands of Yellow-legged Mining Bee Andrena flavipes was discovered in April 2017 along with much smaller numbers of their parasite homeless bee Nomada fucata. This colony is extensive and continues, intermittently, all the way NW along the coast to the Centenary Quay area at Woolston. Other Andrena bee species could also be present in the same but these are often difficult species to identify. These bees have stings but they are too week to penetrate human skin.
Nomada fucata – left; Andrena flavipes– right
Both reproduced with kind permission of Gary Palmer, New Milton.