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Best start to the season ever!

The Bird Aware brand is clear and simple and its part of the reason we can prove such impressive advancements since the name arrived on the Solent coast.  However, it's just part of the story, these successes couldn't have been achieved without the rangers that engage with our visitors and endorse the messages of the partnership.

The winter of 2017/18 was pivotal for the ranger team. With a new uniform and armed with focussed leaflets and appealing giveaways the season was full of meaningful connections with the people that spend time on the Solent.  12 Months later and further progression has been made.  Here are a few highlights over the past few months that have led to the start of this winter season to be the best to date.

Sites

Across the Solent coastline each area has its own set of unique issues such as ease of public access, number of bird species and most popular forms of recreation. For those patrolling these areas, having site specific information to hand is extremely beneficial and the ranger team have now produced 'site notes' that cover the key info needed to make a meaningful visit. 

With the ranger team numbering six this winter for the first time, the team will now be visiting high priority sites once a week with the expectation of building rapport with regulars and maintaining a presence that will be appropriate to make a real difference.

Staff and training

It's not only key information that the ranger team have been able to gather prior to the winter season.  With two permanent rangers in place alongside a Lead Ranger, the warmer months have been extremely productive in delivering events and planning a comprehensive induction programme for the three new seasonal rangers that started in September.

The profile of the training has been raised in comparison to previous years.  Over a three week period, numerous sessions have been put on to equip the team with the best knowledge and experience in anticipation for greeting the winter visitors this season.

Alongside key learning such as positive engagement techniques, conflict management and bird identification, the new rangers have also spent entire days with an established member of the team going through systems and location.  Something that was difficult in the past given the previous level of resources.

We are confident that these efforts will make a constructive difference to our face to face engagement with users of the Solent coastline - the key mitigation measure for the entire strategy!