Friends of the Fowey Estuary

Friends of the Fowey Estuary Volunteer Meeting

9th  May 2018 at 7.00pm

Fisherman’s Arms, Golant

Attended                                                        Apologies

Claire Hoddinott               Richard Gabb                            Sarah Laughton

Peter Edwards                 Ian Laughton                             Janet Longman

Rob Wells                       Bruce Goodwin

Tim Caulfield

Margaret Gardener           

Anna Alcott

Stuart Young


Project Updates:

Osprey Nests Project

PE reported that the osprey nests had recently had their annual refurbishment of nesting material which

was kindly undertaken and generously funded by the National Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust. SY said

that he'd seen buzzards on the nesting and perching poles. Young ospreys are sometimes seen during

the summer months. RW talked about the re-introduction programme at Poole Harbour and we hope that

some of these birds might find their way to Cornwall in future years!

MG asked if we'd had any sightings data for osprey in the area. PE to ask Simon Taylor (BTO) to

research to include in this talk later in May.

Heronry Census

SY and PE reported that the findings of the Heronry Census had changed this year but were unsure of the

cause. There have been less occupied nests counted at the Penpol heronry with 6 nests compared to 12

or 13 in previous years. But there has been an increase in nesting seen at the Haye Point sub-colony with

7 or 8 nests counted compared to 4 in previous years, 2 or 3 Egret nests were also seen here this year.

SY said that local reports suggest that heron nesting activity was first seen at Haye Point in 2008.

Overall there has been a small decline in heron nesting activity but there has also been much less aerial

activity of the herons and less Egret activity too.

Following an action from the last meeting, Janet Longman reported that no heron activity had been seen

at Great Wood near St Winnow. PE to give this information to Simon Taylor (BTO).

Other Birding:

   – IL reported many more Shelduck on the estuary this year, 6 or 7 pairs.

   – BTO had requested volunteer surveyors for Woodcock and Night Jars in a square south of Golant,

        Ian McCarthty had volunteered to undetake the survey.

Otter Survey Project

CH said that Ian McCarthy had got further footage of otters at Wiseman's Stone earlier in the season

using his trailcam. This footage will be shown to the group along with his film at the 2019 AGM.

RW reported that the Cornwall Mammal Group were again trying to initiate a Coastal Otter Project in the

Westcountry region. One aspect of the project would be the collection of spraint to identify if the otter's

food source is predominantly freshwater or saltwater.

Dormouse Surveys

RW reported that no mammals were found at Lantyan on his April visit, the next check is on 19 th May, if

you want to get involved, contact Rob.

25 Dormouse tubes have been put up on David and Karen's land, the other 25 tubes have been put up by

Rob in the 3 Bays Wildlife Group area. The tubes will be checked for signs of dormice, by looking for nests

and collected back in in November.

MG has not done her check at Lombard yet due to bad weather.

It was commented that nationally, numbers of dormice have been low so far in monitoring terms, this is

likely due to the poor winter weather and dormice waking late from their hiberation.

MG said that we have volunteers who have offered to undertake dormouse training, they will need to take

part in the box monitoring schemes and get handling experience. MG to send details of the dates of the

next Lombard visits to be emailed to these volunteers.

ReFILL Project

CH reported that the ReFILL project continues to be popular with several businesses signed up as ReFILL

stations in Fowey. Volunteers are still needed to sign up businesses in communities around the Estuary. If

you can get involved, contact Claire. Suggestions included Jane Richards for Lostwithiel and Vicki

Carver for Lerrryn.

CH said that ReFILL bottle sales were going well with only about 40 bottles left.

MG asked about the progress of the Plastic Free Fowey campaign, CH said that she hadn't heard any

more from Lucy Daniels. CH to ask Lucy for an update on the campaign.

Pacific Oysters

CH reported that Natural England have received their funding and a part-time officer has been appointed

to the project. Monitoring and control of Pacific Oytsers has commenced and a training session was held

at the end of April where a few hundred oysters were counted and 'controlled'. The volunteers who were

involved said that it was worthwhile and a great stress reliever, even if we did end up covered!

CH said that monitoring will continue over the summer period with physical action beginning again in

October. CH also said that she had received concerns from the shellfish industry about Natural England's

approach to the control of this species. CH will follow this up with Natural England.


    -    Sunday 20th May – Visit to Looe Island – Fully booked

    -    Tuesday 22nd May – Talk – Surveying the Birds of the Fowey Area by Simon Taylor. BTO.

         7.30pm at Trenython Manor Hotel

    -    Wednesday 30th May – Beach School meets Forest School. 12 noon at Readymoney for

         rockpooling followed by mini-fires and woodland exploration.


    –    MG – Westcountry Rivers Trust CSI Project are doing a 'Blitz' on 26th-28 th May, any volunteers

         involved in this project are asked to undertake a survey in their river during this weekend.

    –    MG – Gribbin Head tower open day, Margaret and Tim are volunteering this coming Sunday at the

         tower which will be open to the public.

    –    PE – is concerned about 'live aboards' on the estuary, there are currently 2 in Golant and there is

         concern about them pumping their toilets into the estuary. CH to follow up with FHC.

    –    CH – Nigel and Alix Vincent have moved on from Haye Farm, we would like to thank them for their

         support of the heronry and osprey projects. A framed print from Karen was suggested as a nice


         PE said that they plan a visit to Haye Farm again in the winter to introduce themselves to the new


    –    CH – Looe Marine Group have offered us free places on their Outdoor First Aid Training. CH to

         email details to volunteers.

The meeting closed at 8.30pm

Date of next meeting: Wednesday 19th September at 7pm at Fisherman's Arms, Golant

To get in contact, please email: