Two colleagues from ESS, Chris Calland – Assistant Branch Manager Southampton and Lottie Hoffman – Branch Manager Gatwick, met some members of Hampshire Wildlife Trust at really early o’clock to learn how to survey seagrass meadows at Titchfield beach, Hampshire. It was a beautiful morning with a spectacular sunrise.
To work towards their vision of a wilder future and 30% of land and sea restored for nature the Trust is undertaking a seagrass restoration project within the Solent, beginning with an important research and development phase. We learnt the procedure to survey the seagrass, what methods to use, what to look for, how to report it.
By restoring seagrass habitats, we will create a wilder Solent, supporting increased biodiversity and sustainable fisheries, promoting greater ecosystem services, cleaner water and creating a natural carbon solution to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Interestingly, there are a number of seagrass meadows within Hampshire and the IOW, and continuing down into Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. Sadly it was the wrong time of year to see seeds or flowers, but there will be days at more sociable hours later in the year. From what the Hampshire Wildlife Trust trainers were saying, the UK seems a fair way behind other countries moving this project forward.
We learnt a lot! And getting up at 03:30 was well worth it!