Christchurch Harbour Ornithological Group , inevitably known as CHOG, is dedicated to the study and conservation of the wildlife of the harbour. The harbour is one ecological unit, but has three sites of particular interest - Stanpit Marsh, Hengistbury Head and Wick.
CHOG was formed in 1956, inspired by the late Frank Clafton and his attempted ornithological survey of the harbour in that year. The group has recorded and studied the birds systematically ever since, publishing the results in its annual reports. These are issued free to members, sold to the public and held by the Red House Museum, Christchurch, the Lansdowne Reference Library, Bournemouth and the County Museum, Dorchester. CHOG records contribute to the Dorset Bird Report and to many other local and national recording projects. Nowadays, the CHOG report is over 100 pages and contains colour photographs.
Within CHOG is the small, but vital, Christchurch Harbour Ringing Station which, since 1956, has ringed 48 653 birds of 120 species. Ringing is for scientific research only. It adds to our detailed understanding of birds and provides scientific evidence needed in controversies over conservation and management.
CHOG long ago ceased studying birds in isolation. Mammal, reptile and insect records have been kept since the 1960s. CHOG also sit on local council nature management committees.
Every winter CHOG hold an excellent and varied programme of illustrated talks given by well-known local naturalists. Details of the current programme can be found on the Meetings page of this site.
Though CHOG relies heavily on the ornithologists and other specialists who maintain the scientific reputation of the group, most of its members belong simply because they care about wildlife and its survival around Christchurch Harbour. CHOG currently has over 260 members and if you would like to join, please go to the Join CHOG page on this site.
CHOG is registered as a charity with HMRC - Ref: 1185330.
CHOG Committee page >> Chairman, Chris Chapleo, receiving a donation from the Captain's Club Hotel for the placement of bat boxes around Wick.