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December 2018 - Annual mitigation event is a flying success

An annual event for partnerships helping to protect internationally important birds and wildlife was held in November at the Havant Borough council offices in Hampshire.  The event is an important date in the diary for organisations to share developments from their projects and highlight best practice. 

Bird Aware, a partnership that mitigates against rising recreational impacts from planned housing in the Solent region, hosted the event and welcomed a total of 17 different organisations.  One partnership travelled from as far away as Lanzarote to gain further understanding of how partnerships are meeting their aims.

Over 60 representatives joined in the lively, information-packed day.  Officers exchanged notes on far reaching topics such as suitable alternative natural greenspace (SANG), the Sweetman II judgement on the Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) and how rangers effectively engage with users of the coast.

Chairman of the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire, which oversees Bird Aware Solent, Councillor Seán Woodward commented, 'It's really important that innovative projects helping to support the well-being of the birds and wildlife meet and openly discuss their successes.  Shared learning and best practice is vital for the achievement of these initiatives.'   

Delegates were also fortunate to gain some insightful observations during a  stimulating session on testing behaviour change by Natural England.  The conference was rounded up with a visit to a sensitive stretch of coastline that receives numerous visitors.  Iconic birds such as brent geese, oystercatcher and curlew migrate to the site every year.

Thanks to Havant Borough Council for providing the location and to Natural England for their support in the organisation and delivery of the event.