Caring for Horndean’s Wildlife by Sustaining Biodiversity

What is Biodiversity?

Biological Diversity, commonly shortened to Biodiversity, refers to the variety within and between all species of plants, animals and micro-organisms and the multitude of different ecosystems within which they live and interact.

Great Tit

Why is it Important?

All species, including us, depend on other species and so maintaining biodiversity is fundamental to their survival. We rely on the interaction between the different organisms that maintain the global ecosystem for fresh water, food, fertile soil and clean air, as well as natural resources such as wood, rubber and products derived from animals.

Biodiversity also helps regulate the growth cycles of plants, the mating seasons of animals, and even weather systems.

The Horndean Biodiversity Group

The Group was set up by local volunteers to observe and record our wildlife and to raise awareness of its diversity and importance.

It also encourages community involvement in the maintenance and development of wildlife habitats in including gardens, parkland, allotments, trees, the urban environment and Conservation Areas.

To achieve these aims we work closely with Horndean Parish Council and local people to Merchistoun Oak

  • Identify and record the natural resources and history of our local area;
  • Survey and identify local habitats and species;
  • Encourage and support community involvement in habitat and species recording and monitoring;
  • Raise local awareness and involvement in biodiversity conservation;
  • Study historical documents and past surveys in order to detect changes in the local landscape, habitats for wildlife and species;
  • Produce reports of surveys and activities of the group and record species on a database.

    We review and update the Group's plans and objectives regularly to ensure that we focus on the current most important issues.

    If you belong to a local Group who would be interested in seeing a presentation about our activities please contact us at this email address.

    Biodiversity Action Plan

    In 2014 the Group issued a ('BAP') for Horndean Parish which it had drawn up with the assistance of the organisations and individuals listed at the end of the publication.

    The BAP explains what biodiversity is and why it is important to preserve it for the future of all living things.

    Woodland It also contains details of the many different species of animal and plant life that can be found within the Parish and the habitats in which they can be found, including several sites designated for nature conservation.

    Most importantly, the BAP sets out what we need to do to conserve, manage and improve our local wildlife habitats, including those in our own gardens, to support the many rare and important species that depend on them.

    It also includes cross-references and links to further information and other publications.

    The BAP can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF file by clicking on Horndean BAP.

    When viewing the pdf version on a desktop or laptop computer

  • Press the F8 key to bring up the menu bar near the bottom of the screen.
  • Hold down the Ctrl key and click the + or - keys to change the size of the document on the screen.
  • Right-click and select 'Show Navigation Pane Buttons' to show the Navigation Pane Buttons on the left of the screen. Clicking on the second button titled 'Bookmarks' opens an index to the document, sections of which are expanded by clicking on the plus signs on the left of the main headings. Clicking on any item in the index will take you to the relevant page.
  • To view a fully expanded index which is not connected to the document by hyperlinks click on BAP Index

    If you have any problems viewing or downloading the BAP or would like a printed copy please send us an email by clicking on this link.

    Details of ecological surveys on development sites that have become available since the BAP was published are listed in the attached Report.

    Activities and Events

    The 2016 AGM was held in Napier Hall on Tuesday 12th April at 7:00pm. Everyone who is interested in our activities was invited to the meeting which included presentations about some of our recent projects. Details of what the meeting covered are set out in the attached agenda and minutes.

    Flowers

    The previous year's AGM was followed by a talk from Adrian Bicker about Living Record which is a website that provides users with their own records system and gives access to a selection of distribution maps. Details of the wildlife found in a particular area are entered in the section of the website covering that location. These records are reviewed and passed on to local record centres and organisations working for conservation who use them to

  • understand species distribution and population trends,
  • identify key sites and habitats, and
  • develop conservation plans.

    An alternative to Living Record which is used by the Parish Council Countryside Team for managing and sharing wildlife records is iRecord which enables survey results to be recorded on a computer tablet and loaded directly onto the website.

    BioBlitz

    Horndean Parish Council's Countryside Team supported by the Horndean Biodiversity Group organised a on over 24 hours on 5th-6th August 2016 to identify the wildlife living in its grassland and ancient woodland. In contrast to the previous year's event on Dell Piece West when we had to battle against torrential rain, the weather was lovely this year, which made finding and identifying species much easier. Full details of what the event involved are set out in the attached Flyer.

    Many members of the public joined us to see and record over 160 wildlife species including adders, slow worms, grass snakes, newts, bats, and an assortment of butterflies. Small groups walking the Common during the day also spotted a variety of wild flowers and native trees, and many species that live in water were found by the people doing pond dipping.

    During the night, a party equipped with bat detectors lead by Nick Knight from the Hampshire Bat Group identified many pipistrelle bats near the pond, and later on the moth traps attracted a good number of these nocturnal insects.

    Following the success of the 2015 and 2016 BioBlitzs, the Countryside Team have announced thsat the 2017 BioBlitz will be held on on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th July. Butterfly Full information and a timetable for the 2017 event as well as how members of the public can get involved with it will be provided later in the year.

    Newsletters

    The Newsletter issued in October 2016 can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF file by clicking on Newsletter 55.

    Earlier Newsletters can be seen on the South Down Group page.

    Horndean's Trees

    Information about our trees and why they are important can be found on John Vigay's website.

    Surveys

    In July 2016 we carried out a pond survey on Hazelton Common with the Horndean Parish Council Countryside Team. Details of this event are described on the attached page.

    Lists of moths seen in Horndean during surveys carried out in the last two years can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF file by clicking on Moth Species Survey.

    Details of protected and notable species that have been found on Catherington Down, Catherington Lith and Parsonage Field are contained in the datasets maintained by which can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF file by clicking on Local Species Records.

    Supporting Wildlife in Our Own Gardens

    Some of the things we all can do to attract and support wildlife in our own gardens for our mutual benefit are set out on this linked page.

    Getting Involved

    Horndean Biodiversity Group relies on volunteers to help with surveys, tree planting, moth trapping and our other activities, so we would be delighted to hear from you if you would be interested in joining us.

    For more information about our current priorities and activities or to find out how to get involved, please email us or find us on Facebook logo.

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