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Working together for watery wildlife

Last modified: 18 July 2013

Male broad-bodied chaser

Image: Andy Hay

The ponds and ditches on this West Sussex nature reserve are home to all sorts of weird and wonderful wildlife; fast and fierce dragonflies patrol the ditches and whirligig beetles whizz about on the surface of the ponds. And on Sunday 28 July, everyone is invited to come along and meet some of these creatures (with the help of a net!).

One of the most important habitats at Pulborough Brooks is the wetlands, wet meadows criss-crossed with ditches and pools, so water really is vital to life here.  We, and all of our wildlife, need water to survive; some animals like newts live in it, others like the ducks find their food in it, we all drink it, and plants need it to grow.  But here in the south-east of England, particularly during dry summers, water can be quite hard to come by for wildlife.

Andy Shaddick, Public Affairs Manager for Southern Water, says: “The Southern Water team are looking forward to meeting all of the visitors to the family fun day to let them know the various ways to save water around the house and garden. Not only does saving water help to save money, it also helps all of the wildlife that depends on water in its natural environment”

As well as information on how to save water, there will be plenty of opportunities during the day to pick up tips on how give nature a home in your gardens too. Last month the RSPB launched their new campaign Giving Nature a Home, urging individuals and families from West Sussex and across the nation to act for nature in their own gardens.

The conservation charity’s campaign comes after 25 wildlife organisations, including the RSPB, released the groundbreaking State of Nature report, which revealed that 60 per cent of the wildlife species studied, including garden favourites like starlings, hedgehogs and some butterflies, has declined over recent decades. And they are in danger of further declines unless more is done to provide better habitats.

The Giving Nature a Home website will give everyone access to expert advice about helping nature in any outside space – whether it’s a huge garden or a small planting tub on a balcony – at 

Anna Allum, RSPB Visitor Officer, says: “I’m looking forward to a great day and I’m delighted that we’re working together with Southern Water to demonstrate how important water is and how incredible some of the creatures who live in or near it are.  As well as pond and ditch dipping, local author Cathy Watts will be running storytelling and craft workshops, and there will be games and trails to explore too.”

RSPB Pulborough Brooks nature reserve will be holding their ‘wonderful watery wildlife’ family fun day on Sunday 28 July. The activities start at 10 am and continue through to 4 pm, although entry before 3 pm is recommended.

You can find out further details about the family fun day or any of the events during the summer online at or from the visitor centre by calling 01798 875851 or email

RSPB Pulborough Brooks is open daily, with nature trails, gift shop, information area, toilets and café which serves lunch from 12 noon – 2.30 pm and cakes all day. The reserve is located off the A283 between Pulborough and Storrington.

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