What do our rangers get up to in the summer?
The summer is flying by and we can’t quite believe we are almost half way through August already! Over the past few months the Bird Aware rangers have been out and about busy running a programme of events and activities across the Solent.
The event season began back in April where rangers Natalie and Lizzie delivered a number of educational talks and presentations, and later took part in the Wild Play Day at Hurst Spit.
May brought the arrival of a new member of the team, ranger Charlotte who got stuck in straight away helping out with ocean themed events including Harbour Life Half Term which took place at the top of the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, and Love Your Coast at Fort Victoria on the Isle of Wight. The ‘How Unique is your Beak’ game was once again a great success, with many visitors going away with a new appreciation of just how different bird beaks are!
A highlight for some of the other rangers was Hullabaloo in Sandown on the Isle of Wight. A two day fun and educational event celebrating all that nature and science has to offer! Bird migrations were the hot topic and the new bird racing game helped to showcase this perfectly. The following weekend it was time for Dogstival, a special festival for all the family including dogs! The rangers had a great time meeting all the lovely pooches and were able to show their owners how they can become more bird aware.
In June we had another new arrival, this time it was ranger Julie returning from maternity leave! She had a very busy first week back manning the stall at the Kite Surfing Armada on Hayling Island. It was great to meet so many local people there with a real passion for the outdoors, and to show them the range of birds species that they might be able to spot over the winter.
July brought with it some very warm weather and another month packed full of events. The Bedhampton Summer Show was a great success and full of community spirit on a very hot and sunny Saturday. Next the rangers were at the Meadowside Music Festival in Whitley, where people could not only enjoy some wonderful live music, but also learn just how special the Solent is and even test out their bird identification skills!Last week it was a visit to Lepe Country Park for Marine Wonders, a two day event celebrating all things marine with educational stands, games and hands on activities. Then as the weather took a turn and storms hit the Solent, it was on to the Portsmouth Museum for Wild About Portsmouth where visitors had the chance to test out our new Bird Aware photo booth complete with bird props!
In between the bigger events the rangers have also been busy helping out with beach cleans, Guide groups and seashore surveys, and with a few more weeks of the summer left the fun isn’t over yet!
Public engagement and events are at the heart of Bird Aware’s objective to raise awareness about coastal birdlife and the fragile ecosystems around the Solent. If you have any suggestions for our rangers to go along to an event or attend a gathering to give a talk, please get in touch via our contact us page.