Monitoring of the Marsh

 

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.

Wildlife recording

 

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. This will be followed by courses to learn how to identify wildflowers which are used by pollinators as well as other courses – check out the ‘Things to do’ page on the Fifth Continent website. Our aim is that people coming on these courses will build their confidence to identify and record the species they see and will be able to submit these records to the county record centre.

Click the Timeline tab above to view more detail of our progress.

 

Monitoring of the Marsh contributes to the Restore project theme.

 

2021
Jan 2021

RECORDER PROJECT PLANNED UP & RUNNING AGAIN SOON

We are planning to get the recorder project up and running again this spring and summer. Look out for dates of training courses on bumblebee and flowering plant identification as we head into spring.

2020
Mar 2020

COVID-19 CAUSES CANCELLATION OF PLANNED WORKSHOPS & TRAINING SESSIONS

Due to Covid-19 all planned workshops and training sessions on species identification have been cancelled for the foreseeable future  

Feb 2020

Romney Marsh recorders group update

Great to see that people are continuing to get involved in the Romney recorders group. The group has  recorded a range of species from across the marsh to add to existing knowledge. Two more sessions happening over the winter months.

2019
Sep 2019

Update

The last wildlife event focusing on overlooked mammals of Kent took place on 29 Sept. Look out for the new events programme in 2020.

Sep 2019

Romney recorders group update

Great to see that people are continuing to get involved in the Romney recorders group. There will be two more sessions happening over the winter months.

Jul 2019

Busy delivering wildlife events

Wildlife events took place across June and early July covering a broad range of subjects including botany, habitat assessment, medicinal leeches and two different wildlife walks along the Royal Military Canal. More events to come soon – follow the What’s On page for more details.

May 2019

Successful wildlife recording session

Successful wildlife recording session

During May we had a fabulous wildlife recording session with some excellent volunteers from @ecologyconsult on Romney Marsh. We were lucky enough to find a great silver water beetle and an enormous pike! Many thanks to The Ecology Consultancy for giving us their time and expertise to carryout wildlife recording for a day to further our understanding of Romney Marsh.

Apr 2019

Events Programme Launched

A drop-in event was held at Ivychurch on 27 April. It was great to see people interested in local wildlife. People saw pond life under a microscope, our new interactive map and got a chance to find out more about the exciting events taking place this summer.  

Feb 2019

Monthly Recording Task Days planned

The monthly recording task days will take place every second Monday of the month (commencing 13 May 2019). Each month we will visit a different site around the Marsh and record as many plants and animals as we can. Training will be given and at each visit we will focus on a different species group, some sessions will be based at a single site whilst others will take the form of a gentle stroll.

2018
Nov 2018

Programme of events for 2019

A programme of events in 2019 is being drawn up for the Monitoring of the Marsh project, which will include a packed schedule of wildlife training events and exhibitions. For more details visit the What’s On page.  

Oct 2018

Events being planned

A programme of events being drawn up for this project, mainly to take place in 2019. We will have a packed schedule of wildlife training events and exhibitions.

Jun 2018

Habitat survey update

Plants and lichen survey of church yards started

Apr 2018

Habitat survey update

A contractor has been appointed to commence the habitat survey in the Sussex area of the project. Phase one of the project will establish existing land use types. Local recording groups have been contacted to invite them to be involved in the project.

Feb 2018

Ready to commence

After much sorting of contract documents, we’re now ready to commence subject to fleshing out the bones of this project.

Visit our News Archive page.

Help us reach 100,000 wildlife sightings!

Get involved with wildlife recording on Romney Marsh! Whether you’ve never heard of wildlife recording or you’re an expert entomologist there are lots of events coming up and ways to get involved. Go to the Wildlife Recording page for full details and to check out our interactive map.

 

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To find out more including how to get involved contact the project team.