WOW Chairpersons Report 2017/18

Good evening everyone and thank you for coming. 

Welcome to the World of Widewater Annual general meeting and social.

It’s been another very active year for World of Widewater and as a group, we continue to work very well together, with the benefit of the Local Nature Reserve and the wider community in mind.

Sadly, last year our website designer/manager James passed away on holiday in Australia and unfortunately, due to us not having the appropriate passwords we lost our domain address and we were forced into a bidding war to reclaim it. Luckily, Paula, Jo and Gill, between them, were able to see off the competition and we won it back! 

As we weren’t able to access the old website, we had to start afresh and we were lucky enough to have Jon put it back together for us. 

We had been very fortunate until this time, because James had paid for the monthly cost of the domain and website, which we now have to do ourselves.

Barbara continues posting pictures, comments and articles on the website, this keeps it live, fresh and up to date.

If any members would like to contribute photos, memories or articles to the website, please let us know.

As most of you will know, in 2017 we completed a project to install 5 Nature information panels on the plinths around the lagoon which included a new plinth being built.  Everyone can now enjoy seeing a selection of Flowers and Plants, Birds, Insects and Underwater Life displayed on the boards to help identify the wildlife here.

This was an expensive and time consuming project, and we thank  everyone involved for their hard work and dogged persistence in seeing this to completion. 

Special mentions for Jo Proctor, Marion Wood and Paula Baker of WOW, Tim Holter of Shoreham and District Ornithological Society, Helen Plant of Lancing Parish Council, the family of Stanley Allen and West Sussex County Council.

In September, as in the last few years, the 6th form girls from Brighton College came to Widewater as part of their ‘make a difference day’ and cleared some of the invasive species of plants around the bridge for us. Hopefully, they will come again this September?

Also, thanks to Mick Clark and Helen plant from Lancing Parish Council, we at long last got the steps from Brighton Road on to the Western causeway replaced! I hope that you all agree that it has certainly made a difference to ease of access and improved safety?

Ian continues to organise litter clearance days for us, these are usually well attended but if you could help, please take note of the dates as many hands makes litter disappear!

Jon, our new website man has taken over the production of The Widewater Rundown, with members supplying articles and pictures. Most of you have opted to receive an email version of this now, but we do still do a printed issue to give out to those who request it and for new members to give them a taster of what goes on.

Tim of SDOS led a well attended and interesting New Year bird walk around the lagoon. Tim also helps to keep us updated with the many varieties of birds that we get here.

On April 21st this year we celebrated 21 years of the Widewater being designated a Local Nature Reserve.

We were lucky with the weather and we were supported by Lancing Parish Council, Friends of Shoreham Beach, Shoreham and District Ornithological Society and lots of people attended and joined in.

Due to operational difficulties with our bank account with HSBC, it became necessary to change bank. This has now been done with thanks to Janice, we now have an account with Santander Bank in Worthing.

We have a scheduled gardening session in and around the boat by the booth on June 13th at 6.30, anyone who would like to join in would be most welcome, or anyone who would like to organise more regular gardening sessions on the boat, please let a committee member know.

Marion continues to lead her fantastic Flower Walks around Widewater, the next one being 17th June if you can make it?

We are still progressing with the Widewater visitor centre and Janice will be giving a brief presentation on that subject after the break.

Garry Purnell, Chair Person