Friends of the Fowey Estuary

Friends of the Fowey Estuary Volunteer Meeting

19th September 2018 at 7.00pm

Fisherman’s Arms, Golant

Attended                                                Apologies

Claire Hoddinott                                       Stuart Young

Peter Edwards                                         Margaret Gardener

Liz Anderson                                           Rob Wells

Richard Gabb                                           Carol Gabb

Bruce Goodwin                                         Sue Reardon

Ann Newsome                                          Barry Edwards

Chris Newsome                                        Caroline Harvie


Project Updates:

Osprey Nests Project

LA reported a possible Osprey sighting in the last few days. (Post meeting note: Karen has posted photos

on social media of an osprey in Fowey on 19th September, so Liz you were right!)

Heronry Census

CH updated that the results for the 2018 census have been submitted to the BTO. The results were 6

nests at the main heronry at Penpoll and 7 heron nests at the sub-colony at Haye Point. This differs from

previous years where there were more nests sighted at Penpoll and less at Haye Point. We have

wondered if there has been some relocation. Stuart and Peter have also been recording Little Egret

activity and this has also been recorded, with confirmed nesting activity by Little Egrets at Haye Point.

PE said that David and Karen have commented that total numbers of herons on the estuary seem to be

similar to previous years.

CH said that with new tenant farmers at Haye Farm we will need to make contact to ensure our access

can be continued to view the heronry. PE said he’d make contact and arrange a visit to meet them.

Other Birding

- AN said that Roger Tabb in Golant had thought there were less curlews this year, PE said that he’d

seen plenty in Penpoll.

- CH has distributed information from Simon Taylor, the BTO Regional Rep about a Tawny Owl survey.

This is a survey in pre-determined kilometre squares. There was discussion about Tawny Owls in the

local area and nesting on LA’s land in Golant. (Post meeting note: there is now also a more general

Tawny Owl survey where you can report Tawny Owls in your garden or local area – an email to follow!)

- LA and AN reported plenty of garden birds this year. PE added that there are more magpies this year.

Otter Survey Project

CH updated that Rob Wells had heard from the Cornwall Mammal Group and they are going to be moving

forwards with the Coastal Otter Project and are asking for groups/people wanting to be involved. The

FOFE have been put forward. Ian McCarthy and Rob have been in discussion and Ian is willing to collect

spraint samples on the Fowey. He has already identified sites from previous work on this project over the

last couple of years. CH said it will be interesting to see how this project develops.

Ian has also been working with the National Trust and they have built an artificial holt on the Fowey,

something which our group had considered in the past. We thought it would be of particular interest to Ian

though as a focal point for this wildlife filming.

Dormouse Surveys

CH reported that neither of our licenced dormouse handlers, Margaret or Rob had found dormice at the

monitoring sites at Lombard and Lantyan this year. In fact, there has been very little small mammal activity

generally.

There are still dormouse tubes up on David & Karen’s land which will need to be collected in soon.

PE commented that at the recent visit to Restormel Manor, they asked if FOFE might be interested in

undertaking some general wildlife surveys at the site to establish a baseline condition. CH said this would

be an exciting opportunity but we would need to be guided by a trained person, someone like Elly Philips

who is an ecological consultant. PE said he’d see if any more comes of this idea.

ReFILL Project

CH reported the ReFILL scheme has been successful in the local area with several businesses signing up

to the scheme. The sales of ReFILL bottles have been going well with all proceeds going to FOFE.

The Plastic Free Fowey project is still ongoing and is being coordinated by Lucy Daniels, she is trying to

get a steering group together.

Pacific Oysters

CH reported that unfortunately the officer from Natural England who carried out the training with us earlier

in the year has now left that position, our new contact is based in Exeter. The monitoring and control will

continue this autumn under the guidance of Natural England. CH noted that more Pacific Oysters than last

year were counted at Readymoney during the annual Shoresearch rocky shore survey which took place

earlier in September.

It was noted that some Pacific Oysters appeared to have been killed off over last winter, perhaps after the

cold weather. Seagulls seem to be learning how to feed on them too.

Forthcoming Events

- Rockpool Ramble – Friday 26th October 12.30pm – 2.30pm at Readymoney. Helpers needed

please

- Wartime Fowey talk by Paul Richards – Tuesday 6th November 7.30pm at Mission to Seafarers

- Christmas Supper – Tuesday 4th December – Venue, cost and menu to be confirmed.

AOBPE

commented that the ‘live aboards’ he mentioned at the last meeting are still there. They are

causing congestion on the quay as they tie up their tenders there. CH to pass this information on

to Fowey Harbour.

- BG asked about the fire in the woodland at Ethy. CH said she was aware that there had been a

fire there but was unsure of the source or what damage might have been caused.

- PE said that FOFE were developing a sign to be displayed at Readymoney. It will be an

informative sign for the public, telling them about FOFE and about the rockpool creatures at

Readymoney and the seashore code. CH said the design is nearing completion. Funds raised by

the ReFILL bottle sales will go towards the cost of the sign.

- LA explained the nature area being developed at the northern end of Golant Pill. She has received

advice from Natural England and Cornwall Wildlife Trust. They advise to keep brambles down and

plant native species using seeds from a specialist company to verify their origin. The groundworks

have been completed and the area cleared of litter. CH said it would be great if the FOFE could

make a visit to see it or help out.

The meeting closed at 8.40pm

Date of next meeting: Wednesday 14th November 2018 at 7pm in Fisherman’s Arms, Golant

To get in contact, please email: friendsofthefowey@gmail.com