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!
Weston Shore looking clean and beautiful after the litter pick
Common Shore Crab
Variegated Scallop (Chlamys varia)
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.
The Friends of Weston Shore are delighted and honoured to have been awarded the Southampton City Care for the Environment Award at the St. George’s Day Community Awards held at Southampton City College on Sunday 23rd April 2017.
A number of wonderful and very worthy individuals and community organisations had been nominated. We were thrilled to have been nominated, let alone to win an award!
The awards were presented by the Mayor of Southampton, Cathie McEwing, and none other than Southampton legend, Lawrie McMenemy.
Special thanks to those that nominated us and for the honour of the award itself, which is deeply appreciated. We love Weston Shore, we love Southampton and we are looking forward to more fun helping looking after our beautiful beach!
For the report on the event at the Daily Echo, please go to : http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/15242122.PHOTOS__All_the_St_George__39_s_Day_award_winners_on_a_day_of_celebration/
The following are some photos from the day; for a closer look click the photo.
The next meeting for Friends of Weston Shore is this Thursday, 20th April starting at 7pm. The venue as always is Woolston Community Centre, Church Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9FU. There is free parking and everyone is welcome.
It looks like this year is going to be busy for our group and we are hoping to meet new volunteers who want to help us in our aim of protecting and enhancing the shore. The agenda for the meeting includes discussing our litter picks, the forthcoming Bioblitz and lots more.
Hope to see you there!
A recent beautiful spring Sunday saw the Friends of Weston Shore join the Surfers Against Sewage for a beach clean on our shore in Southampton. It was a wonderfully sunny day and it was inspiring to see so many volunteers taking part in clearing up rubbish and litter from the beach.
Surfers Against Sewage were particularly interested in finding as many plastic bottles (for example for water or soft drinks) as possible, as part of a project with Ecover, a company interested in promoting sustainability.
The crew from SAS made their volunteers feel welcome and were a very enthusiastic bunch. In a couple of hours a large amount of litter had been cleared up and the event had been a great success. Thanks so much to Surfers Against Sewage in helping clean up Weston Shore!
New friends from Solent University have created this wonderful short film about the Friends of Weston Shore and our litter picks. This was filmed at our autumn litter pick in 2016.