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Chichester Harbour is one of 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) in England and Wales, which are chosen for their national importance for landscape and wildlife. Chichester Harbour, the only AONB that is a harbour, is a beautiful and fascinating environment, which provides a wealth of opportunity for learning. For educationists it is quite simply a living classroom!
Around its 11 square miles of water and 50 miles of shoreline are diverse habitats including sand dunes, ancient oak woodland, saltmarsh, wetland meadows and reed beds. Rare and protected species find a haven in these important habitats. Towns and villages around the harbour provide homes and work for local people and also attract thousands of visitors each year. Many issues arise from the delicate balance between the activities of humans and the needs of nature. Concepts of citizenship and sustainable development provide an increasingly important focus for the curriculum.
Chichester Harbour Conservancy is the organisation responsible for managing the harbour and the land around it, which is designated as an AONB. As well as being a busy recreational site, particularly for sailing, the AONB is important both nationally and internationally for its wildlife, ecology, heritage and landscape. The Education Service is an important part of Chichester Harbour Conservancy.