The Dell is a small area of woodland in Chidham, tucked away behind the houses of Hamstead Meadow. It backs onto open farmland. Originally owned by Chichester District Council, the Dell was given to Chichester Harbour Trust in 2005 on a 125-year lease for its long term protection.
The site is now managed by Chichester Harbour Conservancy with support from the community and Friends of Chichester Harbour. The aim is to provide an area for people to walk and enjoy the quiet location and improve the variety of habitats for wildlife to thrive.
The southern part is still privately owned.
The Dell provides a haven for wildlife. Mature trees found here include Ash and Oak. Other trees are Blackthorn, Hawthorn and Field Maple. A small stream runs through the Dell which is home to sticklebacks, freshwater shrimp, frogs and pond skaters.
There are over 80 different kinds of wildflowers including foxgloves, watermint, honeysuckle and forget-me-nots.
A surprising number of birds live in the woods. Blackcaps, Chiff Chaffs, Song Thrush and even a Tawny Owl have been spotted and Green Woodpeckers can often be heard. Foxes, hedgehogs and rabbits also use the Dell, and the large Oak trees are an ideal bat roost.