7 Nov



Dear Volunteer November 2011

We would like to bring you up to date with our volunteer group in Hamble and reiterate the reasons why we feel so passionate about the place, and so hopefully encourage you to join in where you can.

Around Hamble Common you will discover a wide range of habitats, such as shingle beach, salt marsh, mudflats, heathland, woodland, and meadow. This diversity, and the range of animal and plant species it supports, has resulted of much of the area being classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and the heathland as a “priority habitat” for conservation. Outside the New Forest 90% of heathland in Hampshire has been lost to housing, agriculture, and other development, so Hamble Common really is very special.

Among the bell heather and purple moor-grass that cover much of the common you may find birds such as stonechats and linnets - known for their striking colours and melodious song. The pond bordered by reedmace and willow scrub provides nesting cover for mallards and moorhens, while the mudflats provide oystercatchers, curlew, turnstones, and ringed plovers with shellfish and worms. Herons and redshanks are also often a familiar site along with mammals such as foxes and deer.

However, this interesting and diverse environment is only semi-natural, being the product of thousands of years of low intensity grazing and the removal of turf and scrub for fuel. The disappearance of these traditional ways means that without suitable management our Common will revert to gorse, willow, birch and oak scrubland or dense woodland - with the loss of many of our current plants and wildlife.
A recognised method of preserving such common land is grazing, and from May to October it is planned to see livestock on various parts of the Common. In addition, the Hamble Conservation Volunteers are replicating the harvesting of traditional building and fuel materials by scrub clearing. This is not done in the summer months to avoid disturbing breeding wildlife. So in the summer we concentrate on beach cleans and footpath repairs so everyone can enjoy our area.

This excellent work will be carried on by the Hamble Conservation Volunteers under the encouraging eye of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) and our main practical advisors: Countryside Services of Eastleigh Borough Council

We are expanding our group to volunteers who can give a little of their time: it may only be a morning or afternoon on task days or it may be to help with the minutes of our meetings. Any help would be appreciated on one or all occasions.

We ask you to join our group by completing our registration document, which we can email, post or have a copy for you on the next task to complete. Your details will then be kept in confidence by our membership secretary solely for contacting you to advise of activities and meetings where issues are discussed and agreed by those present.

Meanwhile, if you require any further information please call Philip on 07810 453138 or email hambleconserve@btinternet.com
We look forward to meeting you soon.


Volunteer’s website www.hamble-conservation.co.uk

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