Tern Island in Parky Meade Rail

Ever since an RSPB visit to Stanpit in 2002, when it was suggested that Parky Meade Rail would make an excellent location for an artificial tern island, this project has been simmering away in the background. However, it wasn't until 2006 and the formation of a CHOG sub-committee dedicated to Stanpit Marsh, that things really started to get moving.

An approach was made to Bournemouth and West Hants Water Company, who greeted the proposal positively and then sought consultation with other interested parties. The Stanpit sub-committee also visited Hayling Island, where Havant Borough Council had funded a similar project, and came away with some useful construction tips.

Throughout the autumn and early year, the approval process made headway and in February we finally got the go ahead and construction started in earnest. Most of the material purchases have come from CHOG funds, however, the Friends of Stanpit Marsh (FOSM) have also made a significant financial contribution.

Photos by Chris Chapleo

Construction of the two 1.5m x 1.5m sections took place in Sopley and CHOG are grateful to Eddy Lewis of Plant Works Ground Maintenance for providing a trailer to move the sections to the slipway in Christchurch. The two parts were then assembled together, floated (with a sense of relief!) and covered in gravel, ready for Barry Childs of Mister B's Marine Services to tow the island into position in Parky Meade Rail. Despite a strong north-easterly wind, the tow and anchoring went without a hitch, due entirely to the skill of Barry.

Photos by Chris Chapleo

The island is now in position and we await the main arrival of terns to see if it creates any interest amongst them.

For a copy of the press release, please click here

CHOG would like to thank the following for their help, support and advice during this project.

and finally...

The Motley Crew - Chris Chapleo
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