Villagers in Westbourne have launched a campaign to save local wildlife habitats and the endangered creatures living in them. They are calling on residents to look out for wildlife, and then log their sightings online.
This could provide vital evidence that local green spaces should be preserved.
The focus of the campaign is an area of local countryside regarded by naturalists as a “wildlife corridor”, linking the South Downs National Park and the coast. The area includes most of Westbourne.
Chichester District Council is proposing to give the area special recognition, so it can be a haven where animals can move, migrate and thrive.
Local environmental group Greening Westbourne is hoping its new campaign, called Westbourne Wildlife Watch, will provide evidence to support this move.
Greening Westbourne secretary Martin Yallop said: “Wildlife all over the UK is threatened by development, intensive farming, pollution and climate change.
“It’s important to report sightings because if there’s evidence that an area is home to important species, it has a better chance of being protected.
“Endangered creatures are the most crucial to report, but people can also log more common ones, as they’re under threat too. It’s a sad fact that many species that used to be common, like starlings and house sparrows, are now declining.”
For more information, residents can search iRecord online, go to www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/ or download the app. More information about the campaign, and how to identify animals, is available by searching Greening Westbourne or going to e-voice.org.uk/greening-westbourne/