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Bird Aware Solent team

The Bird Aware Solent team are set for an exciting winter season as the Solent coast welcomes back thousands of birds who fly here for the winter.

Make sure you say hello if you see our friendly ranger team out and about on the coast.

In the photograph at the top, you’ll see the entire 11-strong team.

From left to right: Shona, our dog initiatives officer; Ranger Karima; Thomas, our monitoring expert; our four new recruits, Ranger Dawn, Ranger Alice, Jo and Ranger Tony; Ranger Natalie; Ranger Charlotte; Anna, who heads up Bird Aware; and, on the far right, Ranger Julie.


The new members of the Bird Aware Solent team

To boost our year-round crew ahead of a busy winter season, we’re delighted to welcome two new seasonal rangers, Rangers Dawn and Tony (on the left), plus a new dog initiatives assistant officer, Jo (second on the right). We’ve also been joined by Ranger Alice (far right), a new year-round ranger.

Here’s what our new recruits have to say about joining Bird Aware Solent:

Ranger Alice

Ranger Alice

“I’ll be spending my time around Langstone Harbour and Chichester Harbour so you might see me there, chatting to people and their dogs. I’m excited to meet lots of new people and talk to them about the amazing wildlife that we have in the Solent.

“Before working with Bird Aware Solent as a ranger, I worked in communications at a conservation organisation. After a few years, I became a teacher where I really enjoyed working with people but felt like I really wanted to get back into conservation and nature.

“Working as a Bird Aware ranger is a perfect fit and I’m really excited to be here and get started”.

Jo, part of the dog initiatives team

“I’ve always been into wildlife. I grew up in the middle of the New Forest where we had foxes, badgers and deer visiting the garden. But we were also fairly close to the coast as my family used to sail from Calshot.

“Since I was about two years old, I haven’t been without a dog. The companionship they provide is incomparable and they’re so intelligent: you can actually have proper conversations with them – just without the words!”

“To be able to combine my love of wildlife, my love of dogs and my love of the coastline, and all of this, while making a positive difference, is a dream job for me”.


Jo from the dog initiative team

Ranger Dawn

Ranger Dawn

“I’m a country girl at heart and, like anyone interested in nature in this country, the obvious go-to for me was birds. I was always inquisitive about the wildlife around me, wanting to know the names of the birds and trees I saw.

“Sharing my passion for the natural world is what drives me. After working in different sectors, I sought out voluntary jobs in conservation and then seasonal roles. In the past I’ve worked with terns and breeding sea birds so I’m excited now to learn more about waders and overwintering birds.

“I’m looking forward to spending time outdoors – I don’t like to be indoors if I can help it – getting out and about, visiting different places along the Solent coastline and talking to people about the wildlife around us.”

Ranger Tony

“I’ve been interested in wildlife since I was about nine years old when I made my own hide to watch starlings nesting under the eaves of a neighbouring house. I was enthralled.

“Wildlife continues to be my go-to place to chill out and relax. Birdwatching is one of those activities where you have to really connect with your senses – your sense of sight or your sense of hearing – in such a way that it brings you completely into the moment: everything else becomes periphery and just falls away. It can be very meditative and good for mental wellbeing.

“After spending a couple of decades as a teacher, I’m used to interacting with people. So working as a Bird Aware Ranger, I’m looking forward to talking to people, and being outdoors in the environment.

“I’ll be spending most of my time around the New Forest coastline and Southampton Waters which are areas I already know well.”

Ranger Tony
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The new recruits will be joining the Bird Aware team visiting places where people and birds share the shorelines, covering areas from Calshot in Hampshire, the north side of the Isle of Wight, and across to Chichester in West Sussex. Bird Aware is a partnership of local authorities and conservation groups which helps safeguard the future of internationally protected geese, ducks and wading birds.

You will find our rangers out around the coast  talking to Solent’s visitors about its worldwide importance for wildlife thanks to its patchwork of nutrient rich mudflats.

Rangers will be encouraging people to follow the Bird Aware Coastal Code: look out for birds; to move further away if they become alert; to keep dogs alongside them; and to follow requests on signs.

We look forward to seeing you out on our beautiful coastline soon!

The Bird Aware Solent team