NATIONAL judges were highly impressed with the enhancement and protection of wildlife and habitats at ‘Hilsea Lines’. They saw Little Grebes, swans, ducks, woodland birds, sea and shore birds plus Kingfishers – as well as many different butterflies and moths. A programme to increase rare Stag Beetles and Dragonflies along with newts, frogs, voles, mice and predators like owls and Kestrels. Many species of trees and plants like Common Walnuts, Hawthorns and rows of Nutbeams – planted during the wars to act as windbreaks to help crops grow.
Working with the City Council ‘Hilsea Line Volunteers’ and ‘Interaction’ – a group committed to help people recover their mental-health and fitness with gentle outdoor activities – in this green oasis. All of this joined-up partnership working saw a prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award. Central Southsea local Councillors Margaret Adair and Lee Hunt attended to see the excellent work thanked everyone for their considerable achievement – a fantastic ‘first’ for Portsmouth.
Building on this excellent work the Liberal Democrat-run Council will designate six more ‘local wildlife sites’ across the city around Fort Cumberland, more of Eastney beach, North Harbour, Great Salterns, Horsea Island and Milton Locks to protect these important local wildlife places on top of the 30% of our city already designated as nationally or internationally important for nature conservation. Meanwhile more and more volunteers are signing up to help places like Portsdown Hill where rare ‘Chalk Blue’ butterflies are increasing.