The Friends of Shoreham Beach (FoSB) are volunteers with a deep love for the sea and its environs and are dedicated to protecting, enjoying and educating others about this rare shingle reserve. Read about the various activities and events that we organise as part of this commitment.
Exploring and educating people about the habitat
Wild Flower Walk. This takes place in late May and June when the beach is at its floral best. Led by our volunteers, it explores the rich variety of plant life on the shingle and its adaptations to the environment.
FoSB are able to offer guides for private groups interested in seeing the flora – please email us your enquiry.
Rock Pooling Events. Normally, these events take place during August when tides are suitably low. FoSB provides guided explorations of the pools below Shoreham Fort for local and rare species of marine life. Recent work on this beach, in support of the Shoreham tidal walls, has altered the pools reducing the wildlife, while slippery mud has made the area unsafe. FoSB are monitoring conditions and hope that things will improve over the coming winter.
Bird Walks. Shoreham Beach has a great variety of both resident and visiting bird life, both on the shore and in the estuary. FoSB volunteers organise a variety of days for both the beginner and enthusiast birdwatcher, often in conjunction with World of Widewater and Shoreham and District Ornithological Society (SDOS).
FoSB are able to offer guides for private groups – please email FoSB any enquiries.
Recording & monitoring
FoSB conduct some monitoring (for example the Starry Clover and the Childing Pink) and carry out Fixed Point Photography (FPP) of the reserve.FoSB also record finds at the annual rock pooling event and have done some citizen science recording. In addition, in 2012, a small survey of insects was completed by Peter Hodge.
FoSB has also funded specialists to carry out surveys. Tim Freed has done two moth surveys. Kate Ryland was funded to re-survey the flora of the beach in 2009, after her original survey in 1998. More recently the Sussex Botanical Recording Society has completed two surveys covering two areas of the Local Nature Reserve (LNR). In 2018 Graeme Lyons completed an invertebrate survey of the whole LNR.
FoSB report to the Marine Mammal Recorder for Sussex. This includes the occasional dolphin sighting and more regular seal sightings at Shoreham. FoSB would encourage everyone to forward any sea mammal sightings to Sussex Marine Jottings. FoSB also report any other relevant findings or sightings to the relevant authorities.
Removal of invasive species of plants
While beautiful to look at, some of the plants growing on the beach such as the Red Valerian and Silver Ragwort are massively invasive. Their dense bushy growth fills up space so that smaller, more specialised plants cannot grow. These plants need culling. Three Cornered Garlic (Allium triquetrum) is a toxic weed and requires removing completely, as does Hottentot Fig.
FoSB volunteers, with help from the Adur Rangers and often supported by local companies or groups, fight a continuous battle with these plants. All done to maintain the variety of species for which the beach is rightly proud. This involves digging up areas dominated by the invasive plants and monitoring and reseeding with specialist shingle plant seed, from elsewhere on the beach and under specialist guidance.
Beach cleans and surveys
With the increasing use of the beach by the public for leisure and fishing and the presence of a large commercial port close by, FoSB is constantly aware of the need to clean the beach.
FoSB organises regular clean-up events for groups, families and anyone with an interest in keeping Britain’s beaches clean. Over the year FoSB would hope to clean the whole beach, from The Church of the Good Shepherd to the western arm of the port at least twice.
Rainbows, Brownies, Cub and Scout groups, schools, local churches, local and national companies have all volunteered to clean the beach at various times of the year. FoSB organises these and provides suitable equipment and disposal through Adur Council’s Clean Up Team, to whom we owe a great debt.
In addition, once a year, groups collect and collate litter, flotsam and jetsam on the beach both as Friends and in support of the Marine Conservation Society’s Big British Beach Clean and Survey.
FoSB welcomes groups who would like to run their own beach cleans and are happy to advise, lend beach cleaning equipment and contact the Council, for the collection of filled bags. Please email us at least two weeks before your event to book equipment and ensure you are not clashing with other groups.
Working as a local pressure group
As well as reporting to Adur and Worthing Council on all beach matters, FoSB is also active in many aspects of development in the Shoreham area, relating to the beach.
FoSB initiated a petition for the boardwalk that now runs between Ferry Road and Shoreham Fort, soon to be extended to Beach Green.
FoSB have met with relevant company ecologists over plans for the cafe on Shoreham Beach Green and the planting of suitable marine plants for the new beach entrance at Ferry Road and the new car park at Shoreham Fort.
With help from our Marine Ward Councillors and our MP, FoSB have also met with the Environmental Agency regarding the impact of the Tidal Walls on the growth area of the Childing Pink.
In addition, FoSB have been involved in the Shoreham Beach Neighbourhood Forum, supporting the concern for Green Spaces and have produced an information sheet with suggestions to help maintain wildlife friendly gardens.
Exhibitions and events
FoSB had a very successful 3-month exhibition at the Marlipins Museum in 2019. It has had stands in the local library and at the 60th celebration of the Conservation Volunteers. In addition, when possible FoSB supports and attends World Oceans Day.
We exhibit at Brighton Science Festival, when the venue is local, to introduce school children at Bright Sparks Day to the LNR and to provide education concerning the dangers of litter to the flora and fauna of the beach.
We have also built up a healthy online following, on Facebook and Twitter, and we have recently updated our website.
FoSB have been lucky to have some great visiting speakers at our AGMs and other functions. Including talks on insects, birds, moths, the underwater environment, the work of the British Marine Divers Association and more.
FoSB receives no outside funding, so all monies are raised from membership fees, donations, fund raising events and grant applications.
FoSB was successful in getting Lottery funding in support of the information boards on the beach. Tesco Bag for Life and Rampion Fund at Sussex Community Foundation supported our insect survey and Shoreham Beach Residents Association has donated towards our exhibition this year. In addition, East Adur Lions have donated monies to help us purchase children’s sized litter pickers.
If you can support our work, beyond joining us and however small, don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We work closely with Adur District Council who own the Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve
We are supported and aided by the following: