Monitoring of the Marsh
When people think of wildlife watching on Romney Marsh, most would head for Dungeness, but there is fantastic wildlife all around if you know what you’re looking for. The ditches are home to rare plants such as Tubular Water Dropwort and Marsh Mallow. Rare bees can also be found across the marsh including the Moss Carder and the Brown Banded Carder and buzzards can be seen soaring overhead.
This project has been all about teaching local people to recognise the wildlife that is all around them. Perhaps it will even spark some budding naturalists to get more involved with nature conservation. Click the Wildlife Recording Tab above to get more involved with wildlife recording on Romney Marsh.
Listed below are the key achievements and challenges with this project. Please click on the green bars to reveal information on what has been achieved to date.
This project has had challenges and some successes from when it started in 2018. During the first year preparations were made for holding a variety of workshops, talks and training events which included sessions on the ecology and identification of small mammals, flowering plants, reptiles, birds, and bats amongst others – all aimed at people living locally on Romney Marsh to increase their knowledge of the plants and animals which live all around them. These sessions were run through 2019 and though some were well attended, especially the ones on bats which people seemed really keen on, others were less well attended. The plan was to continue offering similar walks and talks to people living near the marsh through 2020 but all such events had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 which was obviously a great shame.
In addition, efforts were made to establish a regular recorders group, meeting monthly at various locations across Romney Marsh to record a range of species of plants and animals. Sessions ran through 2019 and into the winter of 2019/20 but were then also curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. These meetings resulted in quite a few species records all of which were submitted to the Kent and Medway Biological Records Centre (KMBRC) where they have been added to the county database and are available for researchers as well as members of the public to access and use. Such records are important to allow monitoring of the distribution and abundance of different species over time which can significantly help with conservation efforts. Added to this KMBRC have been busy gathering and digitising species records which had not previously been submitted to the centres from independent observers on the marsh. These represent an important resource of scientific data which is now accessible to everyone.
In 2021 as we come out of lock-down we are trying to re-vitalise this project by offering a series of training workshops linked in with the continuing work of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. The first of these was the Basic Bumblebee Identification course held on Sunday 28th March and Sunday 18th April – where 22 people from all across the marsh joined Dr Nikki Gammans to learn about the ecology and identification of these fascinating insects.
You can continue with the legacy of the project by monitoring and recording your findings on our Resources (interactive) tab
Monitoring of the Marsh contributes to the Restore project theme.
Visit our News Archive page.
Help us reach 100,000 wildlife sightings!