The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s Wilder Conference 2023 was absolutely incredible and has filled the FatFace Foundation team with so much inspiration! Thank you for having us and THANK YOU so much for the Wilder Business of the Year award for FatFace! What an honour to have been nominated amongst some brilliant companies, innovators, community members and activist all working hard to restore our wild spaces and fight the climate crisis.
This partnership has been an icredible journey for us already and we aren’t even a whole year in yet!
UPDATES DIRECT FROM THE WILDER TEAM 2023
We have been out on the coastline training more of our wonderful Solent Seagrass Champion volunteers to survey and monitor existing seagrass meadows following the Seagrass-Watch methodology. We have led training sessions at Calshot and Chilling Beach on the Hampshire coastline and joined Project Seagrass for their training sessions at Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Over 45 Solent Seagrass Champions have now completed this training.
Dr Tim Ferrero represented the Solent Seagrass Restoration Project and Solent Seascape Project at the inaugural Solent Seagrass Symposium held at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes. He delivered a fantastic talk on our Zostera noltei restoration work to date.
We’re also really excited to welcome Vp plc as our new supporters on the project!
Our Solent Seagrass Champions have continued to survey our existing seagrass meadows across the Solent. We’ve also been monitoring our Zostera marina seed collection sites for seed development.
We have been collecting Zostera marina seed through snorkelling and wading at Seaview on the Isle of Wight with a team of volunteers. The seeds we harvested are now in an aquarium tank at the University of Portsmouth.
We also welcomed Lauren Brown to the marine team as our Seagrass Restoration Summer Intern!
We have been hard at work in the aquarium facilities at the University of Portsmouth, setting up two new larger indoor tanks for all the new seagrass collections, alongside working on constructing a brand-new seed separating system with the University of Portsmouth. This could replace our current method of sieving for seeds and significantly reduce the time and energy needed to collect all the mature seeds.
Here are a few photos and a video from seed collecting at Seaview in July 2023 with Foundation Ops Manager Jodie and volunteer, Anna!
INTRODUCING THE PARTNERSHIP – MARCH 2023
The FatFace Foundation is extremely excited to announce that we have partnered with our friends at the Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust to help fund their brilliant Solent Seagrass Restoration Project’s volunteer programme. Already a couple of years into the project, the team, lead by Dr Tim Ferrero and Ellie Parker, have been working alongside Boskalis Westminster and Portsmouth University to help “restore the seagrass in the Solent to its historical levels and for seagrass to be present in all locations that support it.”
empowered by FatFce Foundation
Donating £30,000 a year for the next 3-5 years, The FatFace Foundation will be a major partner in the growth and development of the HIWWT Solent Seagrass Champions programme, empowering even more people to engage with the project and play an active role in the restoration and protection of seagrass in the Solent.
FatFace Foundation team volunteer day
Havant Store Manager Lydia and our Ops Manager Jodie were lucky enough to volunteer with Dr Tim and Ellie recently with planting seeds out in Langstone Harbour. It was amazing to witness the area and very exciting to see what becomes of our little seed pods!
“By restoring seagrass habitats, we will create a wilder Solent, supporting increased biodiversity and sustainable fisheries, promoting greater ecosystem services, cleaner water and creating a natural carbon solution to mitigate the effects of climate change.”
One of the biggest challenges for restoring seagrass that HIWWT have identified so far is the number of people needed to help monitor and survey the seagrass, collect seeds and help with deployments. Until they find a solution to help mechanise restoration at scale, volunteers will continue to be vital to the success of the project.