Friends of the Fowey Estuary

Friends of the Fowey Estuary Volunteer Meeting

14 September 2016 at 7pm

Fisherman’s Arms, Golant


Claire Hoddinott Peter Edwards Phil Croxton Margaret Gardener Tim Caulfield Karen Wells - West

Bruce Goodwin Rob Wells Richard Gabb Stuart Young Liz Anderson Barrie Edwards

Matters Arising

The FOFE trail cam had been used a couple of times and it was agreed that it could be loaned out to members until November when it will be put out in the estuary again for the otter project. Karen, Liz and Peter wanted to give the camera a try.

Heronry Census

CH said that result of 13 nests were submitted for the southern bank of Penpol and 4 nests on the

northern bank at Hay Point.

Project Updates:

Dormouse Surveys

MG said she'd only had 1 dormouse in 2016 in the boxes at Lombard which are surveyed on behalf of the National Trust, although there were also 2 possible dormouse nests on the last visit. RW continues to monitor Lantyan monthly and has had one single dormouse found three times in the same box (May, June, and August) .It is still a good time of year for young and other mammals. The 10 boxes at Wringford had not shown anything yet although the tubes placed there last year had shown a likely dormouse nest. There are tubes in Bruce's Garden, Golant Downs and Ethy Woods, These will be collected in on Tuesday 15th November and a nut hunt will be carried out at the same time to look for evidence of dormice.Anyone interested in joining in should contact Rob Wells Email: MG said it had been reported recently that there had been a national decline in dormouse numbers this year, probably due to a mild winter meaning that the dormice woke up early from hibernation and there was not much food available for them. There has also been general loss of habitat. MG discussed the need for management of woodl and and coppicing but PC added that the cost of this work has been prohibitive for land owners and managers.KWW offered their newly acquired woodland/land at the top of Golant as another possible site for dormouse monitoring as they are wanting to get a baseline of what is living there. RW said he would be pleased to check it out as a potential site.RW added the tubes will be tried in a site for up to 2 years then changed to another site.

Otter Survey Project

RW will attend a Cornwall Mammal Group (CMG) meeting on 1st October and will raise the issue of the Coastal Otter Project and the possible training discussed at the last meeting. KWW said that there had been reports of daylight otter activity in Penpol, with cubs playing in the water on

neap tides. RW said the trail cam will be put out again in November and these sightings will be useful to inform placement positions.

Osprey Nests Project

David Johns had seen an osprey the previous day flying across the Lerryn tributary, there

had been other sightings too. RW added that another artificial osprey nest project had happened on the Helford Estuary on private land and another on the Taw/Torridge Estuary which includes a camera mounted near the nest. Castle Dore Hill Fort Project Unfortunately Becky Hughes did not attend the meeting and CH tried to outline the project. The landowner was seeking

help in terms of managing and controlling scrub, perhaps doing some erosion repair, maybe maintaining & protecting other historic features around the farmed area. The general feeling from the group was positive although there was a question about whether we should focus efforts on more public areas.A visit to the site with a historic expert was discussed, with Mary Jones and the Fowey Harbour Heritage Society being mentioned.CH to feed back to Becky.Ideas for Events and Projects

LA – Talk about managing our land/gardens for wildlife – maybe involve CWT and visit to nature reserve or Gardens of Heligan.SY – Leyonne Farm owner has offered a visit to the ancient monument on his land CH -  new member Campbell Murn is Head of Conservation and Research at the Hawk Conservancy Trust and would be keen tospeak about his work. He is interested in our artificial osprey nest project. CH – James Coggan at the Fowey Aquarium has offered a visit with Matt Slater talking about aquarium husbandry and stocking. SY– would like to engage Ian McCarthy in the heronry census and make use of his drone to monitor the nest sites and also assess use of heronries by egrets.

Forthcoming Events - Sunday 9 thOctober – Fungus Event at Lanhydrock as part of UK Fungus Day. 11am meet at the Hub (between the bike hire and café) - Sunday 30Th October – Rockpool Ramble at Readymoney, 10.30am to 12.30pm (remember the clocks change). Children must be accompanied.


TC again suggested that a blog is added to the FOFE website for volunteer reports and photos which volunteers could upload themselves. The blog would take some work to set up initially but would save TC work in the longer term. CH to send request to the membership for persons with any experience of this to come forward. CH - Ruth Finlay (Mayor of Fowey) had approached the group in relation to Landscape Character Assessment Surveys to form part of the Neighbourhood Planning Process. A lan dscape architect from Cornwall Council would provide training to

volunteers to assess a landscape, how it fits in to the Cornish landscape. The group wanted to know more about the criteria for the assessment of land. CH to feed back to CC and Ruth. CH – had been emailed details of a Marine Conservation Grant of up to £1000 from Sea - Changers. One category was direct marine clean - up action. CH thought it may be of interest to KWW and will discuss further. MG – Big Seaweed Search was taking place to identify certain species of seaweed as climate change indicators. FOFE have offered to host a seaweed identification training course for ours and other local groups. RW asked if the common seal was still being seen in the Fowey estuary, KW W confirmed regular sightings, most often in Sawmills area although sightings up as far as Shirehall Moor. RW had assisted in the rescue of a juvenile common seal at Portmellon and was unsure where parents would be from. The meeting closed at 8.30pm

Date of next meeting: Wednesday 18th January 2017 at 7pm in Fisherman’s Arms, Golant

To get in contact, please