Curlew wintering habitat at Havant, Hampshire threatened by major development

As reported at the Curlew Forum meeting in November 2019, and in the Curlew Forum Newsletter 8 (under ‘Decrease in wintering Curlews on the south coast’), a planning application is currently with Havant Borough Council, Hampshire for a housing development at Campdown, Crookhorn/Bedhampton, Havant.

The proposed development would result in the loss of a considerable area of countryside used by up to 350 Brent and 150 Curlew feeding on wet pasture in recent winters and many more Brent in the recent past. 150 Curlew of the c.500 wintering in and around Langstone Harbour is a significant proportion of the harbour wintering population. Brent and Curlew feeding at Campdown return to the harbours at dusk each day to roost.

The Campdown proposed development site’s importance is identified in the Solent Wader and Brent Goose Strategy as a core site, see:

The proposed mitigation site which is suggested to accommodate displaced Brent and Curlews is in fact Broadmarsh Coastal Park and is considered by Curlew specialists to be completely inadequate and unsuitable for use by feeding Curlews as none have been seen there before.

To study the planning application, read the comments, and make an objection yourself, enter the reference APP/19/01101 in the search box at the bottom of this page and then press Search: Comments must be added by 13 February 2020.

This is the RSPB response, which has been lodged as an objection: APP_19_01101-CONSULTEE_RESPONSE_-_RSPB-1343348 (PDF).

This is the Hampshire Ornithological Society objection: 20200120 Havant application Jan 20 HOS (PDF).

This is the objection lodged by Peter Potts: Camp Down planning application response Jan 2020 (PDF). Peter Potts is a specialist observer and ringer of waders, closely involved in the New Forest Curlew Forum group and the Hampshire Ornithological Society.  As a wader specialist, member and active contributor to the International Wader Study Group, chair of the Farlington Ringing Group, and WeBS counter at Langstone since 1975, he is involved with a lead on wader ringing in The Solent, and international projects and expeditions working on Black-tailed Godwits from Iceland to Portugal, Sanderlings in the UK and Portugal and assisting with work on Red Knots in Iceland, lapland and Mauritania. See his paper in the Hampshire Ornithological Society Annual Report 2018 on Movements of GPS-tracked Curlews (PDF).

The importance of Langstone Harbour is illustrated by this chart, which sadly shows a decline of over 50% in the wintering Curlew numbers since the late 1970s:

Graph by Chris Cockburn

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