Roseate Tern Life Project, New Patrol RIB & A Change at the Helm

All Change at the Helm

We enter the new sailing season with a change at the helm of
Lymington Harbour Commissioners.

On the 31st May 2017 Geoff Holmes steps down as a Commissioner after six years of service, the last four and a half as Chairman. At Geoff’s final meeting on the 15th May, Ryan Willegers (Harbour Master) said:

“Speaking for myself, I am probably in the unique position to appreciate the amount of work, commitment and dedication that Geoff has put in as Chairman. On behalf of my team, Commissioners and harbour users, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our appreciation. Although Geoff is retiring, I know that he will continue to take a keen interest in the ongoing work of the Commissioners and I wish him all the very best.”

Geoff is succeeded as Chairman by Richard Jenner on the 1st June 2017. Richard was appointed as a Commissioner in November 2011 and was elected Vice Chairman in November 2016. Richard is a retired senior operational executive from a national manufacturing and distribution centre. Richard is a past Commodore of Lymington Town Sailing Club and he and his family have lived in Lymington for over 30 years and have been very involved with boating.

At their meeting on the 15th May the Commissioners elected Tim Harford as Vice Chairman. Paul Martin was reappointed as a Commissioner for a second three year term. Both appointments take effect on the 1st June 2017.

Geoff Holmes (L) being presented with engraved ‘Ships’ decanter by Richard Jenner

Roseate Tern Life Project

The RSPB Roseate Tern LIFE Project kicked-off in the Western Solent last summer, with a focus on boosting the protection of the roseate tern population and providing suitable conditions for the species to reclaim their former breeding habitats.

In the Western Solent, the roseate tern has been absent as a nesting species for over a decade, though individuals are frequently seen flying through on their summer passage. With this in mind, we have been working closely with the RSPB project team to facilitate habitat creation work that will benefit more widespread tern species in the area – this is a prerequisite to recolonisation by roseate tern.

In late March, a local marine contractor began shingle recharge operations on a small section of saltmarsh close to Lymington River mouth. A barge was used to place shingle on pre-existing shell banks (cheniers) and the material was then distributed to form a bund. This was done with the intention of increasing the height of the cheniers, which are the primary nesting habitat for terns in the Western Solent.

Video of the chenier site located at the mouth of Lymington River (© RSPB)

Sea-level rise has reduced the amount of available nesting space for breeding seabirds in the Western Solent and cheniers are frequently flooded during high spring tides. It is hoped that the recharge will lower the risk of nest flooding as a large proportion of the shingle bund lies higher in the tidal frame. The project team will be using a drone to monitor any changes to the bund resulting from tides and/or wave action.

The breakwaters in Lymington River were identified as another potential habitat that may favour tern site selection because they are not connected to the mainland, which reduces the threat of human disturbance as well as from predators such as fox and mink.

Three nesting platforms have been constructed on the crest of the western breakwater in Lymington River. These platforms were constructed using concrete-filled hessian sandbags with pea shingle placed inside of them – this is the preferred nesting substrate for terns. Decoys and chick shelters have been deployed to encourage prospecting birds to nest and provide protection from avian predators.

Read more about the Roseate Tern LIFE Project

Visit Lymington Harbour

Lymington Harbour Commissioners have a new initiative to promote Lymington as the destination of choice for visiting yachts.

The initiative consists of leaflets and posters which have been produced both in “hard copy” and email friendly formats and distributed to yacht clubs, sailing associations, harbours and marinas along the south coast.

Visiting yachts are an important source of income for many businesses within the town and this new initiative demonstrates the Harbour Commissioners’ commitment to developing waterborne tourism in support of the town and surrounding area.

See our new leaflet HERE

New Harbour Patrol RIB

On the 12th May 2017 LHC took delivery of a new Harbour Patrol RIB. The new vessel was commissioned from Ribcraft, a leading British builder of RIB’s for commercial use after exploring the market and undertaking sea trials as part of the tender process.

The new 6.8m vessel replaces a 21 year old 5.4m Zodiac RIB and is better suited to patrol and rescue (tow) duties due to its bespoke configuration and larger 150hp Suzuki engine which was supplied by SAL Marine, based in Lymington. SAL Marine will also provide engine servicing over the next three years.

Beware Thefts

There has been a spate of thefts of tenders or tender outboards from the Fortuna pontoon with nine incidents of theft reported in late April/early May. We are liaising with Hampshire Police to ensure all incidents are properly reported to assist their investigations. Mooring holders are asked to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

In line with past advice, owners are strongly advised to remove outboard engines from tenders and not to leave portable valuables on vessels unless they can be securely locked away. By removing outboards this also reduces the risk of damage to adjacent tenders.

As part of a planned expansion of CCTV coverage in 2017/18 which is already underway, the Commissioners will incorporate the Fortuna pontoon shore access and dinghy area.

Contact Lymington Harbour
[email protected]
01590 672014

(Please right click any image in the left column to retrieve high res version.)