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Partnership approach makes light work of footpath

Environment Agency Outcome Day Held at Sandy Point, Hayling Island

Volunteers from the Environment Agency joined forces with Friends of Chichester Harbour volunteers, Conservancy staff and the Hampshire County Council Rangers

Chichester Harbour Conservancy joined forces with the Environment Agency and Hampshire County Council Rangers recently to tackle a huge task on Hayling Island. The Rangers needed to lay 20 tonnes of material along a popular footpath, close to Sandy Point Nature Reserve. This would have taken the small team several days but, thankfully, help was at hand.

Chichester Harbour Conservancy organised a team day for around 70 Environment Agency project managers, who worked with Friends of Chichester Harbour volunteers, Conservancy staff and the Hampshire County Council Rangers to lay the footpath in just a few hours.

Hampshire County Council Ranger, Martin Jewell said, "What a fantastic day! This task is an excellent demonstration of partnership working. Our three-person team relies on extra help and having over 80 people working together in one day was amazing. Elliot Rowe, Rights of Way Team (East) provided the material for the 350 metre path and we are both pleased that the path has been resurfaced to such a high standard. Using volunteers avoided labour costs so this is a fantastic achievement. With the newly replaced oak bench at the end of the path the whole area looks much more attractive and offers a great space to stop and appreciate the view."

Environment Agency Programme Delivery Manager, Andrew Gilham said, "I'm really pleased with how hard the whole team worked to make such a positive difference to the local environment, improving it for both visitors and local residents. I'm very grateful to Chichester Harbour Conservancy and Hampshire County Council for their support in making the day such a success."

During a brief break from the work, the volunteers enjoyed the Harbour on board Solar Heritage, a solar powered catamaran operated by Chichester Harbour Conservancy and learnt about wild flowers in Sandy Point Nature Reserve with the Conservancy's ecologist, Peter Hughes.

To support the Conservancy's work in Chichester Harbour, contact the Friends of Chichester Harbour via the website www.friendsch.org.

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