On a Sunday in January, our very first pioneering Seaford “renaturing champions” met up in the Martello Fields (or the “Sea Meadows” as we prefer to call it!)
We all live nearby, and walk past it all the time, so are ideally placed to keep an eye on this space, reporting any issues, and making a note of any sightings. The data captured will help “On the Verge” to start to build up a picture of the biodiversity in our green spaces, and the success of the “renaturing” management policies.
This could be done by individuals but it is much nicer to walk round in a small group and chat about the site and the other projects we’ve been involved with.
There were a couple of benches for seating which was welcomed, but we noted that the site really needs better access for wheelchairs. It’s a very popular site with dog walkers, so much so that a few of us sometimes felt out of place walking here without a dog! The group came up with a few ideas to consider to improve this space for people too, which included guided walks through the field, QR signs to link to the history of the area, a call for Sea Meadow poetry, a kite festival, whether we could supply dog poo bags near the bins, and wondered about having some art here (Planksie where are you?).
We also discussed the bonfire site, and Sarah suggested that it was best not to worry too much about reseeding of only grass round the bonfire site. We can concentrate our attentions on the edges of the field.
Great to see that there was some great new low fencing along the top of the banks, where the cars park.
Unsurprisingly for January, there weren’t a lot of flowers in bloom, but the mild weather had made numerous wild flowers start to grow all around the site. We spotted quite a lot of daisies blooming, and also buttercups, dandelions, chickweed and groundsel. These early flowers will be invaluable to any pollinators that are emerging on warm days. We were lucky enough to have our botanist Sarah with us today, and discussed the plan to do at least one formal plant survey on the site during the year.
Also spotted were lots of shark/skate egg cases, mussel shells and a few tiny fungi. A pair of gulls were keeping an eye on us while doing some noisy pair bonding. It seems the birds think it is nearly Spring. As I left the site, a small flock of starlings were swooping over the site. Keith often sees foxes in the far west field as the sun sets, and Judy has seen them in the far field and surrounding roads
We had brought a litter picker with us and managed to fill a carrier bag full of rubbish, mostly plastic waste but also a chewed-up baseball cap and various takeaway cartons and cans.
We agreed to try and meet once a month on a Sunday morning to repeat our meadow meander, and can’t wait to see what wildlife and flora we spot as the year goes on!
We are currently seeking volunteers to do similar observations in some areas of the Salts. If you are interested in helping, please do get in touch.