|Richard Austin, AONB Manager
Chichester Harbour Conservancy works in partnership to protect and enhance the special qualities of Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
We promote sustainable development - ways of living and working that allow businesses to prosper whilst communities thrive and people enjoy life. In the Harbour, this includes enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area and affording opportunities for people to understand and enjoy its special qualities.
We operate a Sustainable Development Fund which supports this aim. In this edition of Harbour CHIRP you can find out more about how your community or organisation can benefit from our Sustainable Development Fund.
Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about this or any other articles in this edition.
|Judy Darley, Community Officer
Our Sustainable Development Fund is now open for 2015 and accepting new applications. There is £30,000 available for exciting and innovative projects that deliver social, economic and environmental outcomes within the Harbour.
You can download the guidelines and application form from here. The Grants Committee meets every six weeks to decide which projects should receive funding.
Last year one of of the projects we supported was the Langstone Gig Cutters Club, who successfully applied for £4,360 towards the purchase of a new boat. This means that more people are able to enjoy getting afloat in the AONB.
|Judith Meagher, Countryside Officer
Did you know that the Salterns Way is already 10 years old? This picturesque 18km cycle route runs from the centre of Chichester to the sand dunes of East Head. Most of the route is on dedicated cycle paths whilst other sections follow quiet country lanes.
Cycling the Salterns Way is only possible because of the generosity of the land owners along the route. The leases are now being renewed and we are working closely with land owners so that cyclists can continue to enjoy this facility in the future.
Please spare a thought for the landowner when you're cycling as bicycles can damage footpaths and crops. Please use designated cycle routes, observe signage and use the gates provided.
|Georgie Siddle, Community Ranger
We held our first ever duck race at Fishbourne Meadows at Easter. I was very excited about this and I think the children and their parents were too. It was a lovely hot sunny day and The Bull pub in Fishbourne kindly allowed us to use their garden whilst we decorated the ducks.
We raced for a whole ten minutes and there were prizes for first and last place, so no one lost out on the day. It was quite amusing to see people trying to make sure their duck came last, once they knew they weren't going to be first. I think my duck came in at 19th, place so I'll have to wait until next time, and try to reach at least 18th.
The whole day went swimmingly, excuse the pun!
|Steve Lawrence MRTPI, PLanning Officer
The new National Planning Policy Framework has meant a radical change in how town and country planning is administered in England and emphasises the promotion of economic growth. The Conservancy is revising its Planning Policies in order to reflect these changes, whilst safeguarding and enhancing scenic beauty in the Harbour. This is an exciting opportunity for us to strengthen our influence on the four local planning authorities that make decisions within the AONB.
We will undertake a period of wider public consultation, including public displays and events at different locations around the Harbour. This will be your chance to make comments as part of the process, and help the Conservancy to keep the AONB special and distinctive. For further information see our planning page or contact me.
If you want to find out more about planning in a protected landscape, why not come to our Planning in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty event on Tues 19th May? There will be an open session with me and my fellow Planning Officer, Linda Park, followed by a short trip on the Solar Heritage to look at some sites of interest from the water. Please click here for further information.
|Jane Latawski, Education Officer
Last month we were busy with Junior Conservancy Day workshops. Five local schools, Chidham Parochial Primary, Fishbourne Primary, Nyewood CE Juniors, Parklands and Emsworth Primary came to our Dell Quay classroom with their year six pupils to debate an environmental issue and consider how democracy works.
The highlight of the day was holding a debate in the smart, specially designed debating chamber at Havant Borough Council. The children relished using this adult space, especially the microphones, to put across their points of view and concerns.
We had some great feedback from the children and staff: ‘Today has really made me more interested in politics. I loved using the microphones and hearing my voice. I have never really had a debate and would love to do it again'
We are grateful to the staff at Havant Borough Council who allowed us to use the Hurstwood Room and made us feel so welcome. The Junior Conservancy days are very kindly sponsored by the Friends of Chichester Harbour which allows us to offer them to schools free of charge.
|James Parkin, Farming & Wildlife Officer
Last month we held a one day course to learn how to identify and record bumblebees with Dr Richard Comont of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT). One third of our bumblebee species have declined by more than 70% since 1900 and much of this decline is thought to be due to a drastic reduction in unimproved meadows across the countryside. We held a field visit to Thorney Island, which contains hundreds of hectares of excellent bumblebee habitat where both both Common Carder Bees and Buff Tailed Bumblebees were spotted.
If you are interested in conserving bumblebees why not take part in the BBCT's BeeWatch survey or attend one of their events elsewhere in the country. See their website for more information.