Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve
29th January 2019
Pagham Visitor Centre
Pieter Montyn, County Councillor, WSCC (Chair)
Steve Webster, Reserve Manager, RSPB
Tim Callaway, Hants and IOW Area Manager, RSPB
Charlotte Weller, Countryside Services Manager, WSCC
Introductions were made by the Chairman, Pieter Montyn.
Steve Webster made a presentation on the work that had been completed on the Reserve since the last Forum meeting.
This included an update on the work that had been completed on the uplift projects, (Toilets, Hide, Discovery area), ongoing reserve management, breeding bird numbers, visitor numbers and activities, educational visits/outreach and volunteering.
He outlined the focus for 2019 with regard to work on the Reserve. Priorities include signage and leaflet, the management plan, opening the medmerry cycle route and potential bike hire, developing the education offer, building on membership and the launch of the uplift facilities in June
Questions after the presentation
Q: Any plans for the road crossing to medmerry as the road is so busy?
A: There will be road markings, signage at the location of the crossing which will be a direct one. Recognise it is a busy road but there won’t be any traffic signals put in place as part of the scheme.
Q: Was the S106 that will be used to employ a member of staff from the Pagham site? Where will that post be based?
A: Yes, the money was from that site. The role will be based at the Visitor Centre but will be working out on the Reserve, including Pagham. The whole of the Reserve will be covered. Tim Callaway said this would be picked up directly with Pagham Parish Council to reassure them too. The idea for this role has come from the Bird Aware project in the Solent.
Q: Where does the money from the other planning applications in the area go?
A: The money goes to the District Councils and the Reserve. The level of the contribution is based on the disturbance the development is likely to cause.
Q: It was suggested that it would be better if the information about the value and use of s106 contributions was more readily available.
A: The group agreed.
The current byelaws on the Reserve are out of date and WSCC is keen to put in place up to date byelaws. A second consultation on draft byelaws was run in June 2017 and a number of points were raised regarding the District byelaws that already exist on the beach and the fact two sets cannot be applied to one piece of land.
WSCC is working with the Districts to address this and will release a new set of draft byelaws for consultation once this has been resolved.
Q: Is there enough resource to monitor breaches of byelaws?
A: The Reserve team is the WSCC ‘eyes on the ground’ as well as reports from members of public. The best way to approach these breaches is to have a conversation with people and try to bring them on board by increasing their understanding of the sensitive nature of the Reserve.
Q: Has there been much activity on the byelaws?
A: The main problem has been low flying. Pieter Montyn explained that the airfields, such as Goodwood, do not have control over aircraft that are more than 2 miles away from the site. Bait digging and fishing has been a particular area where the byelaws have assisted in helping people understand the importance of the MCZ site
The current Management Plan expired March 2018 but permission was granted by Natural England to extend the existing plan.
The RSPB is working towards developing a new plan for adoption in Autumn 2019.
The new plan will take a great deal of the current objectives and work that is already being done and either roll it on to the new plan or build on it.
A consultation will be run with stakeholders.
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