In recent times various animal species have been reintroduced to the UK, such as wild boar and beavers. There are mixed views as to whether this is a good thing. Are they really the same species as those which became extinct here?
And there is concern about the impact these creatures may now have on the other wildlife, the countryside and farms. The affects of the ‘inadvertent’ introduction of mink and grey squirrels is perhaps what causes reservations, though they never were native species. However, when such projects are carried out with proper preparation and are closely monitored, the results can be of great interest, such as the introduction of bustards on Salisbury Plain.
These thoughts were provoked by the visit of a group from the Society to the white stork project at Knepp Estate in August. Following a short introductory talk by the project officer, Lucy Groves, the group were taken to see the storks. Although at an early stage the project is already bearing fruit with the first of the captive breed storks embarking on their migration back to Africa a few weeks ago. The plan is to eventually establish 50 breeding pairs in three areas in south east England. Their reintroduction is of particular significance, as the birds gave their name to Storrington. The project is a partnership between a range of conservation organisations and is funded by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Our members and friends thoroughly enjoyed a very worthwhile visit.
There was no work party in August, due the summer break. We got together again on 7th September at 10.00am back at Fryern Dell to continue the restoration of the Victorian Pleasure Garden, clearing invasive species and making paths accessible. Our next work party will again be at Fryern Dell on 5th October starting at 10.00am. As usual, there will be the welcome coffee break. We look forward to seeing any who wish to join us.
Then on 26th October we have our AGM in the Village Hall, starting at 2.00pm. This includes Talk and Tea. The speaker is to be Sarah Ward, Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Marine Officer. Her subject is the Trust’s work to protect and conserve the marine environment off the Sussex coast. All welcome, entrance fee £3.
For information about this and all our activities, or on becoming a member, please get in touch with Chairman Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or see our website www.storringtonconservation.org.uk/.