Chichester Harbour Trust


Land in our Care

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Sandy Point Lagoon, Hayling Island

In 2012 the Trust bought the freehold of this 18-acre lagoon that lies behind Sandy Point on the Hampshire side of the harbour entrance.

This protected area of water – draining to glistening mud and sand at low water – lies immediately adjacent to the wader roost at Black Point. This is one of the most important roosts in the wider Solent area with bird number reaching 20,000.

At low water the lagoon provides a rich feeding ground for a wide variety of birds and when the tide is high the calm water offers an attractive contrast with the often turbulent activity on the other side of Sandy Point.

The lagoon is enjoyed at times by junior sailors from Hayling Island Sailing Club but for the most part the birds have the area to themselves, enriching this attractive corner of Chichester Harbour.


Sea View Road, Hayling Island

In 2008 the Trust acquired the freehold of about half an acre of grassland and a similar area of inter-tidal mud at Selsmore, Hayling Island. The meadow has been leased to the adjoining landowner on conditions that will prevent any development and the mudland has been retained by the charity.



Eames Farm, Thorney

At 170 acres Eames farm is the Trust’s biggest and most important site. Held on a 999-year lease from West Sussex County Council since 2008, the farm is a large area of coastal grazing and reedbed in the heart of Chichester Harbour. It provides a habitat of international importance supporting many rare species of both flora and fauna.

An education centre created from redundant farm buildings was opened in 2011 and provides valuable facilities for the Conservancy’s education programme. Each year thousands of young people get the opportunity to learn about the ecology of the harbour and the conservation effort required to sustain it.




Maybush Copse, Chidham

In 2009 the Trust was able to buy the freehold of this 8-acre area of woodland and rough pasture with a lot of financial support from the local community.

The site is important both as a wildlife habitat, supporting a rich variety of small mammals, reptiles, insects and flora, and because its mature trees form part of the wider harbour landscape.
The site also has the potential to provide a valuable open space for the enjoyment of local people. However, its history of both industrial use and as a municipal rubbish dump meant that a great deal of restorative work was needed before it could be opened to the public.

Led by the Conservancy and with the help of many local residents, over 4,000 new trees have been planted to supplement the existing woodland and a membrane and additional topsoil were laid to bury any contamination. The new soil has been grassed and in spring 2012 the site was opened for public access.  The site is run by a local management group with the support of the Trust, the Conservancy and the local Parish Councils. 


Chidmere Pond

The freehold of this beautiful 4.5-acre lake has been in Trust ownership since 2005. The area is leased to the owners of nearby Chidmere House and provides a valuable haven for wildfowl.

The Dell, Chidham

The Trust was granted a 125-year lease by Chichester District Council on the 1.3-acre Dell in 2005 and since then, with the help of the Conservancy, the Friends of Chichester Harbour and local residents, the area has been improved by clearing some of the undergrowth and planting new trees. The Dell is popular with walkers and local children who particularly enjoy the stream that runs through the site.

Fishbourne Meadows

Early in 2012 the Trust finalised a lease on 9 acres of meadow at Fishbourne. The charity has been granted tenure for 10 years by West Sussex County Council as a first step in establishing a ‘buffer zone’ of additional protection for the harbour in the vicinity of Fishbourne and Apuldram where the boundary of the present protected area runs uncomfortably close to the water. The meadows consist of a stream and 3 fields of wet grassland crossed by public footpaths, and include a Scheduled Ancient Monument, being part of the Fishbourne Palace site. Careful management by the Conservancy for over 20 years, including regular grazing, has led to a profusion of wild flowers. The rare Southern Marsh Orchid has increased from a mere 5 recorded plants in 1991 to over 300 last year. A wide variety of songbirds inhabit the site and there is a thriving colony of Water Voles.

Apuldram Meadow

This harbourside 15-acre meadow has been owned by the Trust since 2009. The land runs down to the Fishbourne channel and is traversed by a number of public footpaths. It is leased to a local farmer who uses it to produce hay and for occasional grazing for cattle. This regime encourages the wild flowers that thrive there, particularly around a network of freshwater ditches at the western end. The field also provides a feeding ground for waders such as Black-tailed Godwit and Snipe.

Itchenor Meadow

The Trust owns the freehold of this small area of meadowland at Itchenor. The site is traversed by the Conservancy’s Salterns Way Cycle Path and the meadow is mown regularly to encourage wild flowers.

Ellanore Spit

The Trust was given a 999-year lease on this 3.0-acre area of saltmarsh and shingle at Ellanore, West Wittering. The shingle bank supports a suprising variety of plants including Sea holly, Yellow-horned Poppy and Sea Campion. Each winter up to 6,000 waders use the spit as a high water roost, including Dunlin, Oystercatchers, Grey Plover and Curlew






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