Life on the Pevensey Levels according to Fran Southgate

Life on the  Pevensey Levels  according to Fran Southgate

Pevensey Levels hydrology is man made, it is protected for wetland birds

like Pett Level and Medmerry near Pagham,

Pevensey is fresh water, salt marsh, estuary sea

a rich environment for birds, eggs, seaweed, salt

so therefore there many archeological remains,

nearby Catsfield is one of the oldest places mentioned in the Domesday Book

At Medmerry they have been finding wicker work filled with oyster and mussel shells, an underwater fish trap, maybe there will be the same at Pevensey, with all the sedimentation and  historical habitation around the edges.

We have tried to protect it from flooding, to stop it changing,

here the river would have been dynamic and braided

and we build a barrier across the front at the sea

If you go and stand, looking out to sea on the barrier at high tide , then turn inland, the levels will be lower, the seawater is seeping in under the wall and under the land, a salt water incursion is happening, salt marsh may return

a cubic metre of water weighs a ton

sea level rising…

people need to think about it

it can’t be the same

adapt or stubbornly resist

it will be under the sea

The Pevensey Levels have been drained for centuries which means shrinking land,

with sea level rise peat and esturine soil is exposed

taking water out means land suffers

destroyed soil can’t hold water

the south of England has an isotopic drop from glaciers which rise in the north, the southern area is gradually falling into the sea

The Environment Agency aim to explain this with its’ Whats in your back Yard ?’ question, and masses of maps showing flood zones and water aquifers

The ‘havens’ banks on the wet ditches  are filled with rain and high tide and could overtake the land without the artificial flaps that drain it out presently-

when those are turned off and floods happen, we will be stuck

in the 50s there was a flood with people taking boats across the levels

it could become a coastal flood plain grazing marsh

is wetland natural? These are manmade wet ditches  though 200 years old

the water level environment plan is not doing its job

however much you drain and pump, if the sea is too high there is nowhere to put the water-

now it is kept high in summer or it would dry out, in winter it is drained to stop flooding

it is the reverse of the natural, to serve humans

there is sewage pollution from Hailsham from all the new building

flooding comes from urban land

you might think it comes from rivers and sea

it is the flash flooding of urban services

sewage with flood water, storm run off

its at capacity anyway, before any new building

this is not joined up thinking in the planning

the water companies need to build more sewage works

wild life always have natural disturbances

nature needs disturbance and destruction

we now try to do that but do we over do?

there are straight ditches with no slumps, no corners, no niches, wildlife needs these

we think it is happening fast but we must see in a longer time frame

we are excited now if we have got 100 lapwings around, we think its good, but it should be 100,00

we lose all those memories of place and wildlife

we need the inaccessible places, awkward places to access the gems

it’s where nature is allowed to go, the tiny places

there is no wild environment in Britain

we graze, mow, keep everything clear

we suspend the natural

we open it all, control, manage

we take out the scrub to help wetland birds but that leads to flooding

and pesticides come into it-

How do we leave the Pevensey levels? How do we run it?

Do we need to interfere,it’s human nature to interfere

can’t go back to feral?

we are told that if a place has more species its more valuable, but salt marsh does not have many species so should it be protected?

There are no water forget-me-nots or ragged robin now

and fenland marshland flowers are inconvenient mushy and smelly

The biodiversity record  of the Levels is predominately freshwater at the moment which is wrongly promoted. When natural ecology takes over we will lose lots, it may become a natural estuary –

Can we keep the sea wall up?

What is going to happen to the railway, roads, towns?

The Environment agency have been told they have to walk away from managing the Levels, the Council says ’No Thanks’, Natural England says…..

No one agrees and no one wants to take this area on, this  the only one in the South East  where there is such confusion and where no one knows what to do or who should be responsible, no one knows –

so it becomes very political

No one wants to be responsible for the Pevensey Levels

There is no one person in charge

We have to accept change

Landscape supports and has intrinsic value

cultural:-spiritual, health, art, relaxation

provisioning- fish in seas, timber, arable

regulating- pollination, flood storage

We are trying to articulate how valuable it is for wildlife

put a fence around and wildlife declines, so what we are doing is not working, we are destroying.

70% of Sussex water comes from aquifers under the Downs, the land on the Downs have been covered in chemicals which have sunk through to them so the water quality is not good.

I say let it be more natural, see what happens

Re-wilding is being thought about

and in West Sussex 3,500 acres are being re-wilded by Sir Charles Burrell, Knepp.co.uk

they are learning how wild life survives, an oak will grow surrounded by thorns as protection

It is moving from grassland to scrubland at the moment

Life on the  Pevensey Levels  according to Fran Southgate

Pevensey Levels hydrology is man made, it is protected for wetland birds

like Pett Level and Medmerry near Pagham,

Pevensey is fresh water, salt marsh, estuary sea

a rich environment for birds, eggs, seaweed, salt

so therefore there many archeological remains,

nearby Catsfield is one of the oldest places mentioned in the Domesday Book

At Medmerry they have been finding wicker work filled with oyster and mussel shells, an underwater fish trap, maybe there will be the same at Pevensey, with all the sedimentation and  historical habitation around the edges.

We have tried to protect it from flooding, to stop it changing,

here the river would have been dynamic and braided

and we build a barrier across the front at the sea

If you go and stand, looking out to sea on the barrier at high tide , then turn inland, the levels will be lower, the seawater is seeping in under the wall and under the land, a salt water incursion is happening, salt marsh may return

a cubic metre of water weighs a ton

sea level rising…

people need to think about it

it can’t be the same

adapt or stubbornly resist

it will be under the sea

The Pevensey Levels have been drained for centuries which means shrinking land,

with sea level rise peat and esturine soil is exposed

taking water out means land suffers

destroyed soil can’t hold water

the south of England has an isotopic drop from glaciers which rise in the north, the southern area is gradually falling into the sea

The Environment Agency aim to explain this with its’ Whats in your back Yard ?’ question, and masses of maps showing flood zones and water aquifers

The ‘havens’ banks on the wet ditches  are filled with rain and high tide and could overtake the land without the artificial flaps that drain it out presently-

when those are turned off and floods happen, we will be stuck

in the 50s there was a flood with people taking boats across the levels

it could become a coastal flood plain grazing marsh

is wetland natural? These are manmade wet ditches  though 200 years old

the water level environment plan is not doing its job

however much you drain and pump, if the sea is too high there is nowhere to put the water-

now it is kept high in summer or it would dry out, in winter it is drained to stop flooding

it is the reverse of the natural, to serve humans

there is sewage pollution from Hailsham from all the new building

flooding comes from urban land

you might think it comes from rivers and sea

it is the flash flooding of urban services

sewage with flood water, storm run off

its at capacity anyway, before any new building

this is not joined up thinking in the planning

the water companies need to build more sewage works

wild life always have natural disturbances

nature needs disturbance and destruction

we now try to do that but do we over do?

there are straight ditches with no slumps, no corners, no niches, wildlife needs these

we think it is happening fast but we must see in a longer time frame

we are excited now if we have got 100 lapwings around, we think its good, but it should be 100,00

we lose all those memories of place and wildlife

we need the inaccessible places, awkward places to access the gems

it’s where nature is allowed to go, the tiny places

there is no wild environment in Britain

we graze, mow, keep everything clear

we suspend the natural

we open it all, control, manage

we take out the scrub to help wetland birds but that leads to flooding

and pesticides come into it-

How do we leave the Pevensey levels? How do we run it?

Do we need to interfere,it’s human nature to interfere

can’t go back to feral?

we are told that if a place has more species its more valuable, but salt marsh does not have many species so should it be protected?

There are no water forget-me-nots or ragged robin now

and fenland marshland flowers are inconvenient mushy and smelly

The biodiversity record  of the Levels is predominately freshwater at the moment which is wrongly promoted. When natural ecology takes over we will lose lots, it may become a natural estuary –

Can we keep the sea wall up?

What is going to happen to the railway, roads, towns?

The Environment agency have been told they have to walk away from managing the Levels, the Council says ’No Thanks’, Natural England says…..

No one agrees and no one wants to take this area on, this  the only one in the South East  where there is such confusion and where no one knows what to do or who should be responsible, no one knows –

so it becomes very political

No one wants to be responsible for the Pevensey Levels

There is no one person in charge

We have to accept change

Landscape supports and has intrinsic value

cultural:-spiritual, health, art, relaxation

provisioning- fish in seas, timber, arable

regulating- pollination, flood storage

We are trying to articulate how valuable it is for wildlife

put a fence around and wildlife declines, so what we are doing is not working, we are destroying.

70% of Sussex water comes from aquifers under the Downs, the land on the Downs have been covered in chemicals which have sunk through to them so the water quality is not good.

I say let it be more natural, see what happens

Re-wilding is being thought about

and in West Sussex 3,500 acres are being re-wilded by Sir Charles Burrell, Knepp.co.uk

they are learning how wild life survives, an oak will grow surrounded by thorns as protection

It is moving from grassland to scrubland at the moment

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