Generic filters

Bird Aware Art Fest proves popular among Solent residents

20 February 2024

The first Bird Aware Art Fest is proving a big hit and events across the Solent region are booking up fast.

Throughout February, local people have been taking part in art-based activities to celebrate the wealth of wildlife along the Solent coastline.

The month-long celebration was organised by Bird Aware Solent to build connections with coastal birdlife through arts and crafts.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Chairman of the Partnership for South Hampshire, the body that oversees Bird Aware Solent, said: “The first Bird Aware Art Fest has proven a valuable way to raise awareness of the wealth of wildlife along our beautiful coastline. By giving them the space they need, we’ll help keep our migratory birds returning to our shores for generations to come.”

Activities have included guided walks and sketching workshops in West Sussex and the Isle of Wight, bird-themed collage making at Lepe Country Park, as well as painting projects at Netley and Chichester.

Still to come is a guided walk with Bird Aware’s rangers along the Fareham coastline where participants will discover how to use their mobile phone to photograph nature.

The Art Fest concludes on Sunday 25 February with some creative colouring at River Hamble Country Park. Details of all the events can be found on the Bird Aware Solent website.

Bird species that migrate to the Solent for the winter include dark-bellied brent geese from Siberia, dunlins from Scandinavia and Russia, wigeons from Iceland, Russia and Ukraine, and turnstones from Greenland, Lapland and Canada.

These migratory birds arrive on our shores tired and hungry. They need to stock up on vital energy resources by feeding along the Solent’s coastal mudflats and saltmarshes.

Bird Aware Solent works on coastlines around the New Forest, Southampton Water, Portsmouth, Chichester and Langstone Harbours and the northern coast of the Isle of Wight. It is formed of a partnership of 19 different local authorities and wildlife organisations.