Natural Environment Group (NEG) Project Funding
Each year NEG makes a small amount of funding available for its members to undertake either primary or secondary research. Priority is given to research which addresses the issues raised or gaps in the evidence base identified by the Solent European Marine Sites (SEMS) Management Scheme Delivery Plan or Natural England's conservation advice for SEMS sites. Bids can be for projects either undertaken alone or in partnership with others, they can be ongoing or have a finite time scale. Projects that meet the needs of the Solent Site Improvement Plan (IPENS) will also be looked upon favourably.The research must cover some aspect of the coast or marine environment around the Solent.
Where possible the bid should be match funded and other sources of funding should also have been explored. The group does not normally fund ongoing long term studies or surveys or work that is deemed to be 'core work' of other organisations. A condition of the funding is that the final project output wil be made available to NEG for public dissemination. The project lead will also be invited to present their findings at a NEG meeting.
Once the priority requirements have been met, any other projects may bid for the remaining funds. These are ranked accordingly:
- Value to designated (SPA, SAC or SSSI) marine and coastal sites or features of the Solent
- Value to non-designated marine and coastal sites or features of nature conservation importance
- Projects that benefit multiple organisations
- Peer review by NEG members
A document has been prepared that sets out particular areas of interest for funding in 2017/18.
The timescale for bidding and voting in a given year is as follows:
- Call for projects is sent out by NEG secretariat at the end of January
- Applicants to submit project bidding pro-forma by end of March
- Project bidding pro-formas sent to NEG members for voting on in early April
- Bid votes counted and tabulated and returned to NEG by mid April
- NEG meeting in April discusses project bids and online votes and makes funding offers. This year the meeting takes place on 27 April 2017.
Please fill in the the project bidding pro forma.
Projects Awarded Funding for 2016/17
At is meeting in April 2016, NEG awarded project funding for three projects.
- The first is for an update to the Solent Waders and Brent Goose Strategy. This will be led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and will gather and analyse survey records to produce a comprehensive analysis of which sites currently form the ecological network for protected coastal bird species.
- The second project by the University of Southampton will look at the effects of microplastic water pollution in the Solent on the flat oyster (Ostrea edulis). The ecotoxic effects of microplastics are an emerging and important area of work and this topic is currently being looked at by the Environmental Audit Committee.
- The final project is for small fish surveys in Chichester Harbour. This survey aims to monitor the fish populations in the harbour and additonally to use the data as an indicator of its ecological status and habitat health.
A small Recreation Focus Group was also set up to develop guidelines for paddlesports users on how to avoid disturbing birds in the Solent European Marine Sites.
Past Funded Research
- The Effect of Pharmaceuticals on the Regeneration of Nereis virens, a Common Solent Polychaete. Beth Hawdon, University of Portsmouth. 2015.
- Solent Oyster Stock Assessment. Southern IFCA. 2015
- A “three dimensional” Review of the Impacts of Hovercraft and Paramotor on Waterbirds. Report by Anikó Gaál, University of Southampton, Sept 2014.
- Water-based recreation disturbance on coastal bird populations. A canoeing/kayaking case study in Langstone Harbour, UK - Sara Méndez Roldán, University of Portsmouth, 2012/13.
Other Projects with NEG Contribution
- Pilot Catchment Based Approach for Sowley Pond, March 2013.
- Solent Waders and Brent Goose Strategy
- Solent Disturbance and Mitigation project
- Solent Seagrass Project