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2019 / 20 highlights

The past over-wintering season certainly saw its fair share of extreme weather and for the Rangers on the coast this can have a significant impact on their routines.  Despite the gale force winds and excessive periods of rain, the team has managed to deliver some impressive results.

From one end of the Solent to the other, the Rangers fulfilled a total of 871 site visits.  With some of the priority sites, such Ryde Sands on the Isle of Wight and Bunny Meadows on the Hamble River, receiving up to 44 individual visits.  The team of just four permanent Rangers and three seasonal Rangers engaged with over eleven thousand members of the public throughout the season.  Each interaction is gauged by the Rangers in a number of ways, one being the receptiveness of the individual taking on Bird Aware's key messages.  This season 96% of individuals were classified to be receptive to our messages based on their responses, which is some super feedback.

Events are also an important area where Rangers manage to engage with folk from all backgrounds and ages.  This year saw them attend 44 different events including joint events with the Wildlife Trust, Hover Travel and the National Trust.  Combined, the team had quality interactions with nearly 2000 people at these, with an element of the 'draw' being the fun games played such as 'how unique is your beak'.  Then there are the giveaways, who can resist a free mini torch or expertly illustrated coastal explorer pack?  Moving into the summer, Rangers will be trialling some new eco freebies in the form of bamboo pens and colouring pencil pack.

Social media has also experienced some excellent gains in the past year.  Facebook followers went up 73%, Instagram followers rose by an eye-watering 142% and Twitter went up by 53%.  Growth on each platform has largely been achieved through engaging, informative and varied content.

For those who would like a three minute break from your day, Ranger Charlotte has edited together some great coverage of the birds that the team observed during the past winter.  You can view it HERE.