Welcome to Harbour CHIRP

Chichester Harbour, Information from a Remarkable Place

Harbour CHIRP - July 2016

Harbour CHIRP - July 2016

Welcome and introduction - Solar Heritage

Richard Austin - AONB Manager

Welcome to the July edition of Harbour CHIRP. This month, our fantastic solar-powered catamaran, Solar Heritage, moves to Emsworth for the summer.  She will sail from Itchenor for the first half of the month and she'll be taking passengers from the jetty in Emsworth from Sunday 17th July, starting with a Harbour Discovery trip at 10am.

The summer trips will continue until the end of August, when she'll return to Itchenor. It's a brilliant way to explore the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so I'd urge anyone and everyone to book a trip!

Whatever you decide to do in July, whether it's sailing, walking around the AONB, exploring for bats or enjoying any of the fine cafes and restaurants that we have in the Harbour, do have fun!

Chichester Harbour is a nationally important landscape, which is protected for the nation to enjoy.


Photo: David White 

Local News - New World record set at Hayling Kite Surfing Armada

More than 400 people have set a new world record for the largest parade of kitesurfers. Virgin Kitesurfing Armada UK's attempt off the beach at Hayling Island involved 423 participants parading over a one-mile (1.6 km) course on Sunday 19th June.

Guinness World Records has verified the attempt was a new record.

The previous record was set by Virgin Kitesurfing Armada South Africa when 415 kitesurfers completed a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) course off Cape Town.

Find out how we supported this event in Judi's article below.



Flying high at Hayling's Kitesurfing Armada

Judi Darley - Communities Officer

We supported the Kitesurfing Armada down on the beachfront at Hayling Island on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June and spent two wonderful days making kites in our ‘kite making masterclasses' for families.  And the good news is... our kites really do fly! Our super set of kite making kit was sponsored by Volvo and we had our own marquee for leading the classes. We made 10 kites in each session.

Over the two days, we made over 100 kites with the children (their parents were also helping them) and we were more than chuffed to see so many being flown on the beach next to those of the professional kite surfers out on the water!



Photo: Deborah Creasy

Safeguarding our seals

James Parkin - Farming & Wildlife Officer

Seals are fascinating animals and seeing them is a highlight for many people. The Solent is a very important area for them so we have been working in partnership with Langstone Harbour and The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to produce a Code of Conduct for everyone to use.

We have a resident population of Harbour Seals that can be spotted resting on mud and sand flats at low tide - a behaviour known as ‘hauling out'. This is a very important time for them as it allows them to conserve their energy and recover after foraging for food.

The amount of time they spend hauled out increases during the moulting and pupping seasons - but they are more vulnerable and are easily disturbed.

The Solent Seal Code of Conduct gives advice on the most appropriate way to view these lovely mammals without causing them distress. Our Harbour Patrol team will be distributing the Code amongst Harbour users over the coming season.




Protecting the AONB in the long term

Richard Austin - AONB Manager

On 17th June, the Chichester Harbour Trust held their annual reception at Eames Farm, where they thanked everyone who was actively helping them to look after this special place.

The Trust exists to conserve, protect and improve the natural beauty and wildlife of the area for the public benefit by acquiring land, sites and buildings within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its setting. They have acquired 10 sites around the Harbour, including Ella Nore Spit (pictured), Maybush Copse and Fishbourne Meadows.

Once the land is under their stewardship, partner organisations help to manage it for conservation. This approach addresses the ever increasing development pressures, since acquired land will be secured for the benefit of future generations.

However, their work is far from complete and they are always on the lookout for new supporters who share their aims and aspirations. The Chichester Harbour Trust is a unique organisation in the family of AONBs and we are fortunate to have their support.

Please visit their website to find out more about their excellent work.


Photo: FIPAD

Statue found by fishermen at Bosham

Do you know what FIPAD stands for?

Judith Meagher - Project Officer

It's the Fisheries Industry Protocol for Archaeological Discoveries - a process that fishermen should follow if they discover any archaeological items or features.

The Harbour has a rich history and we need to preserve our underwater heritage. A granite statue was found near Bosham and a seal top spoon has also been found. Both items were reported by the fisherman and have been recorded by the Receiver of Wreck.

Any historic finds should be reported and recorded and a new Historic Environment Fisheries Liaison Officer (HEFLO) has been appointed for Sussex to ease this process. His name is Alistair Byford-Bates and he will come out to the site and help people to report their find.

Hopefully, he will encourage more people to report historic finds so that the things of yesterday are preserved for future generations.

I am the local contact for Chichester Harbour and I will be working with Alistair to report any archaeological finds.

Photo: FIPAD

Statue found by fishermen at Bosham


All set for summer walks...

Nicky Horter - Countryside Officer

I'm happy to report that we carried out two successful footpath projects last month.

Firstly, we upgraded a section of muddy footpath at Cobnor to provide wheelchair access (pictured) and link the two activities centres to the existing wheelchair path which leads to Cobnor Point.

The improvements were generously funded by the Friends of Chichester Harbour and will allow visiting groups to wheel all the way round this lovely area and enjoy the stunning views at the point without using the road.

Secondly, we have improved a stretch of muddy path at Colner Creek, just north of Bosham. This stretch became wet and flooded during the winter, making it hard for walkers - we hope they will enjoy the much needed improvements.

Visit our Walking page to find out more about enjoying the AONB on foot.

Finally... I'm off on maternity leave in early July so Judith Meagher will be looking after the footpaths in the AONB until I get back!

Footpath cutting is underway....

Georgie Siddle - Countryside Ranger

It is the season of mass growth and business around the Harbour and Keith and I have been busy cutting the footpaths. However, with the mix of sun and rain we've been having, the vegetation is growing again soon after it has been cut!

We are working our way around the Harbour, a couple of days each week, but with 96km of footpaths, you can see it will take us a while to cut them all...

In the wildlife world there are chicks getting ready to take first flight. Cuckoos and Turtle Doves have announced their arrival in Chidham by calling for a dance partner. Many of the Willow trees are sending their fluffy wool type seeds out on the breeze and we are enjoying the arrival of our Swallows, Swifts and House Martins.

The Harbour is such an active area and there are some beautiful places to see wildlife flora and fauna. Today, around Chidham we were lucky enough to see this Bee Orchid. This shows that we are still doing a great job, looking after the AONB.

Tawny Owl spotted at Maybush Copse

Keith Rathbone - Countryside Ranger

The Friends of Maybush Copse sent us news that a Tawny Owl has been using the raptor perch that I put up at Maybush Copse last year. Here's a photo taken by the camera installed at the site. It's not a very clear image as it was taken at night.

The raptor perch was made from an old telegraph pole which would have been removed as it wasn't needed any more so it's great to see it being used by owls. We've also had reports of sightings over farmland nearby.

To encourage our larger predators, we have Barn Owl boxes in several locations around the Harbour, as well as two Osprey nesting platforms - hopefully they will be used over and over again now and in years to come.



The sun doesn't always shine but it was ‘'the best school trip ever''!

Jane Latawski - Education Officer

June is always the busiest month for Chichester Harbour Education Centre. This year, 22 different schools and colleges visited and worked with us in the Harbour - just think of all that knowledge being shared with future generations!

The weather has been really challenging at times, with very changeable conditions for our outdoor activities. We haven't let it put us off though, and we still managed to get onto the beach or into Fishbourne Meadows for the children to learn and have fun.

Young people from Flying Bull School in Portsmouth and local school, Parklands Primary, particularly impressed us with their beach art. Henry and Sid from Parklands Primary School made a beautiful turtle from items they found on the beach and children from Flying Bull Primary School told us that it was the "best trip ever!"

Click here to find out more about our Education Centre.



Photo: Linda Newell

Uncovering the Past: Emsworth, Oysters, and Men

Richard Austin - AONB Manager

The Emsworth Maritime and Historical Trust held a book launch in May at the Emsworth Museum. The book, ‘Uncovering the Past: Emsworth, Oysters, and Men', was written by local historian, Linda Newell. Although the event was an outstanding success, it was held in memory of Linda, who sadly passed away in 2015.

The second edition of her book was seen by all as a fitting tribute to her and it also marked the conclusion of the Heritage Lottery Fund Oyster project, which ran from 2014 to 2016.

Linda's book is dedicated to Lt Col John Q Davis OBE, the former chief officer at Chichester Harbour Conservancy. John was a strong advocate for the restoration of the Victorian oyster boat, Terror, which took place about 10 years ago.

If you would like a good day out this summer, why not book a trip on the Victorian Oyster boat, Terror and then visit the Museum in North Street, Emsworth afterwards?

Linda's book is now available to purchase and is a real treat for anyone interested in our fascinating local oyster history.