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Case study: The Great Coastal Birdwatch

The Great Coastal Birdwatch is held each autumn to launch the winter season when migratory
species flock to this habitat-rich stretch of coastline.

Local residents are asked to spot and submit sightings of local birdlife; giving them first hand contact with wildlife
and raising their awareness of coastal birds.

The opportunity

Bird Aware Solent has run this annual festival of coastal birdwatching for five years.

Since 2022 other bird disturbance mitigation groups have also taken part. It is a valuable opportunity to run a multi-channel
campaign raising awareness of overwintering birds with messaging about the importance of adopting positive behaviour to
minimise bird disturbance.

Cllr Woodward interviewed by ITN for the Great Coastal Birdwatch

The campaign includes:

  • Dedicated pages on the Bird Aware Solent website
  • Resources and materials for children available on the website and sent to local primary schools
  • A programme of pop-up events and a raft of supporting collateral
  • A media relations campaign
  • Engaging social media content and online promotional campaign.

The results

  • The festival has helped Bird Aware Solent to reach new audiences with messages about the importance of overwintering birdlife on
    the Solent and what we can all do to protect it through responsible behaviour. In 2022 this engagement included:
  • A feature on ITV Meridian News with a Bird Aware Solent Ranger and Councillor Seán Woodward, Chairman of the Partnership for South
    Hampshire, talking about the Great Coastal Birdwatch and migratory birds
  • Over 5,000 visits to the event’s pages on the Bird Aware Solent website and more than 206K impressions about the festival on social media.