top of page
Tree 1 (S).jpg

ALL ABOUT THE BEXHILL WILD DOMESDAY PROJECT

On 19th April 2023 Bexhill Town Council voted unanimously to implement Year 1 of the Bexhill Wild Domesday Project, the scientific evaluation of its natural environment in order to plan for its conservation and enhancement from 1st June 2023. Commencement of Years 2 and 3 will be dependent on further council votes. Bexhill-on-Sea covers a large area of land from Northeye in Pevensey Marshes to the west bank of the Combe Haven river.

Humanity’s existence depends on plants and animals. The food chain needs to be intact for a healthy biosphere. Bexhill cannot escape from the implications of climate change and sea level rises. A three-phase approach to the conservation of Bexhill’s wild and plant life and landscapes will involve volunteers, young people, local residents and experts.

 

The Wild Domesday Project will conform to the East Sussex County Council (ESCC) Responsible Authority Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) for the county. The Project will have a website detailing its formation and purposes, and its own email address. There will be a blog to explain progress, fund-raising activities, and free PDF information leaflets for Bexhill residents to download. Bexhill-OSM will enable electronic mapping on the project website including all woods and water courses, flood risk areas, ward street maps, tree preservation order maps.

In Year One (June to May 2023/24) - A comprehensive scientific evaluation phase will begin, identifying the types of landscape and ecology we have within the nine town Wards.  The initial assessment of Bexhill’s plant and wildlife and natural environment will be divided into four seasonal research tranches – Summer 2023, Autumn 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024. Councillors will receive detailed reports at the end of each season.

 

If Year 1 is successful and the Town Council votes for further project work, then:

 

In Year Two (June to May 2024/25)   - Using the data obtained from at least 30 evidence sources in Year 1 (see below), we will hold public meetings and recruit volunteers, especially young people. The Bexhill Wild Domesday team would then, with guidance from experts, conduct street-by-street and landscape surveys looking for problems in trees, plant types, wildlife, coastal areas, streams, water courses and pollution of the environment in their own wards. Funding bids will be made, and a conservation management phase will be planned, using the Wild Domesday Survey data and volunteer local ward data as a base, to ensure relevant planting and landscaping, and additional water in the landscape for animals, insects, and tree survival in drought conditions.

 

In Year Three (June to May 2025/26)  - We will implement the necessary conservation enhancements highlighted by the evaluation phase, monitor the environment and search for successes and problems in order to make any necessary revisions to long-term strategy. This project has aspects which could attract match funding and action from external sources such as East Sussex County Council grants programme, the National Lottery, the Environment Agency, and some local charities supporting green issues.

 

MAJOR CONCERNS

 

Some aspects of concern to Bexhill’s citizens and visitors that will be at the top of the Project agenda:

 

  • Sewage and sea/bathing water quality

  • Cyanobacteria and seaborne microbacteria

  • Sea front storm damage

  • Flooding implications

  • Summer drought – loss of plants, trees, and wildlife

  • Extensive loss of protective beach shingle due to excessive longshore drift through the many damaged groins

  • Fly tipping and leachate pollution.

 

DATA COLLECTION - as time goes by so the information will be available in a set of PDFs you can download for free.

 

The 30 areas of data collection for Year 1 of this project are:

  1. Mammals

  2. Birds

  3. Reptiles & Amphibians

  4. Fish

  5. Insects that are butterflies or moths

  6. Other insects, spiders

  7. Molluscs, terrestrial land freshwater crustaceans, seashore crustaceans, other terrestrial and freshwater invertebrates, other seashore invertebrates

  8. Trees and shrubs

  9. Wildflowers

  10. Grasses, rushes, sedges, lower plants, fungi

  11. Climate overview

  12. Weather records for Bexhill

  13. Sea Levels, Tidal and Coastal Conservation

  14. Coastal assets

  15. Rainfall trends

  16. Humidity records

  17. Ground Water levels and flooding risks

  18. Landscape types and definitions

  19. Farming

  20. Roads and streets per ward

  21. Parks and Gardens

  22. Natural water courses

  23. Sewage and drainage

  24. Private Gardens

  25. Dark Skies & Light pollution

  26. Food chain survival water

  27. Drought and Cyanobacteria

  28. Air Quality

  29. Landscape pollution and Fly Tipping

  30. Bathing Water Quality

 

Further details will be published in early June 2023 when the project starts.

The Bexhill Wild Domesday Facebook page can be accessed at:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100091961778322

 

kind regards

David EP Dennis BA (Hons) FCIPD LCGI RAF

Project Manager

6 May 2023

bottom of page