Specific Areas

East Head / Pilsey Island / Itchenor / Chichester Marina / Dell Quay / Bosham / Prinsted / Emsworth / Northney / SE Hayling

East Head

Sand dunes are fascinating but fragile places. The Marram grass that grows here helps to stabilise the dunes. However, in some places, winter storms have damaged the higher areas and even the Marram grass couldn't hold the sand in position!

There is a large expanse of saltmarsh in the shelter of the spit and beautiful mauve Sea Lavender grows here in July and August.

If you venture inwards, you will see Sea Spurge, Sea Holly and Sea Bindweed and you can listen out for Skylarks singing above the dunes.

Please use the boardwalks when out walking to avoid damage by trampling.


Pilsey Island

Pilsey is a U-shaped island, enclosing an area of mixed saltmarsh. On the western side, there are sand dunes which are growing rapidly.

The sandy beach backs onto an area of shingle and both areas support a variety of plants

Please note: Access by boat only (April to October) - please remain within the landing area.



If you walk westwards towards West Wittering and East Head, you will see established saltmarsharsh at Chalkdock Marsh and along the shore.

If you continue walking, you will reach some attractive woodland where the oak trees bend over the beach and small birds are busy in the treetops. You may hear the laughing call of a Green Woodpecker.

During the summer, Terns fish in the water and waders feed on the mud at low tide during the winter. 


Chichester Marina

You will find an area of marshy grassland at the eastern end of the marina. Here, you can see a variety of waders and wetland birds. There is a car park nearby and birdwatchers can use the Peter Catlett Memorial Hide.

You will find a range of water plants along the edge of Chichester Canal in summer, and several families of Coot, Moorhen and Mallard are in residence.

Salterns Copse lies to the north of the main lock and is traditionally managed by coppicing. If you walk here in spring, you will see beauitiful bluebells and hear birds singing. Later in the year, it is a great place to spot butterflies.

You can walk north from here to Dell Quay and beyond.


Dell Quay and Fishbourne Meadows

Fishbourne Meadows

An attractive, chalk stream flows through Fishbourne Meadows and into the Harbour. Its banks are bright in summer, with a range of flowers and butterflies.

The path from Dell Quay and Fishbourne Meadows leads to the head of the Fishbourne Channel. Here, birdwatchers can get close to a variety of birds - the best time to see them is at half tide. 



Head north for superb birdwatching and stunning saltmarsh plants. The best time to see the birds is at half tide.


This quiet village is hidden from the shore. However, if you walk around the perimeter of the peninsula, you will have lovely scenic views across to Itchenor, Bosham and Thorney Island.



From here, you can walk east towards Nutbourne and Chidham and west to Thorney Island (see below).

You will pass an established saltmarsh area, which was created by allowing the sea to pass through a gap in the bank.


Emsworth and Thorney Island

Thorney Deeps

The western side of Thorney Island has a variety of wildlife on both sides of the sea wall. You can see Golden Samphire, with its glossy leaves and yellow daisy flowers on the sea wall.

The area near the marina was once tidal, but this was enclosed in 1870. The area now supports a variety of waterfowl and nearby reedbeds are noisy in summer with chattering Reed and Sedge Warblers.

The farmland here is traditionally managed. Cattle graze during the summer and hay is cut to maintain the botanical interest.

You can walk all the way round Thorney Island (approx. 7miles). There are no facilities for walkers so please ensure you have everything you need for your walk. As it is a military base, you must remain on the perimeter path and use the buzzers at the security gates as you enter and exit the island.

If you walk west from Emsworth towards Langstone, you will pass a variety of habitats, including woodland and freshwater marsh. If you walk inland, you will see Warblington Church (12th century).



You will see wonderful, established saltmarsh to the west of Northney Marina. If you follow the main road to a small car park, you arrive at North Common. From here, there are stunning views across to the South Downs National Park and this area is a haven for wildlife.

If you cross the road bridge, you can explore the area between Langstone and Emsworth (see above), including the old milllpond which once powered Langstone Mill, a local landmark. 


South-east Hayling

You can start your walk from the marina, the sailing club or the beach. If you head to the Lifeboat Station, you will find an unusual habitat.

Here, the sand dunes blend with heathland and you will see colourful heather in late summer. Sand dune and coastal plants, similar to those at Pilsey Island and East Head, grow nearer the sea.