CHaPRoN is a partnership initiative, bringing organisations together, working collaboratively to protect, enhance and drive recovery of the natural environment. Our partners briefly explain why they are part of this partnership.
The Environment Agency
Chichester Harbour is a very special place for people and wildlife, and one of our local ‘priority places’. We recognise that the Harbour faces many challenges such as climate change impacts, the loss of important habitats and species, development pressures, unsustainable sea defences, and water quality. Evidence also shows us that the rate and scale of impact and change is increasing, and therefore, urgent action is needed to address the climate and ecological crisis. We know that the environment provides many valuable services and benefits to society, and therefore, the importance of protecting and enhancing these natural assets. The CHaPRoN initiative brings partners together and enables us to deliver a more innovative and ambitious programme of work to tackle these challenges and enhance the ‘natural capital’ of the Harbour. It also provides greater opportunities to manage risks, unlock funding, share resources and learning.
Chichester Harbour Conservancy
Chichester Harbour Conservancy was established by the Chichester Harbour Conservancy Act of 1971. The Act recognised the single geographical entity of the Harbour and brought together responsibility for managing the land most closely associated with the Harbour known as the Amenity Area and the Harbour, as the Statutory Harbour Authority. Under this Act, Chichester Harbour Conservancy has a duty to conserve, maintain and improve the Amenity Area for nature conservation and natural beauty. The Conservancy now manages the whole of the AONB.
Over the past 50 years, the pressures on the Harbour’s natural environment have gradually increased, both in terms of climate change and anthropogenic pressures, and these pressures are set to continue to rise at an accelerating pace. We are already seeing the direct impacts of these pressures through rising sea levels, increased storminess, water quality and the significant decline in biodiversity across the Harbour.
It’s vital that urgent action is taken now to start to reverse these trends and protect the Harbour for future generations. We realise that it will require a step-change in the approach to nature conservation in Chichester Harbour. The Conservancy is proud to be leading this ambitious partnership, bringing stakeholders together, collaborating, aligning interests and trialling new ways of working to maximise opportunity to drive forward nature recovery and the wider benefits this brings.
Natural England sees the CHaPRoN partnership as being key to the delivery of the recovery of the Chichester Harbour SSSI and leading the creation of a wider Nature Recovery Network.
Through this partnership, Natural England is also able to bring together statutory and wider place-based working across the catchment, linking together our marine, coast and freshwater planning and licensing remits with farm advice, land management and connecting people with nature.
Southern Water is involved in CHaPRoN as we share the goal of protecting and restoring the area’s natural harbour and wetlands. As a water and wastewater service provider we are reliant on a healthy natural environment to support our core business. We are committed to working in partnership to improve water quality, restore habitats and provide wider benefits for people and wildlife. One of our priority areas is the broader harbours area (including Chichester, Langstone and Pagham Harbours) and we are working with partners to develop an integrated long term plan to improve water quality, restore the natural environment and reduce carbon – building on the great work CHaPRoN has started.
The RSPB is a proud member of CHaPRoN, working with Chichester Harbour Conservancy and partner organisations to protect and enhance the internationally important coastal and wetland habitats of Chichester Harbour alongside the RSPB priority species that reside within. This can only be achieved in a coordinated and integrated way, working in partnership to deliver landscape-wide conservation action, applying the Lawton principles of ‘Bigger, Better, and more Joined up’ to tackle issues around climate change, coastal adaptation, water quality, and wildlife disturbance. As a result, the RSPB hopes that key species such as terns, lapwing, redshank, Dark-bellied Brent geese, curlew, oystercatcher, and ringed plover will thrive in a responsibly shared and dynamic landscape that provides for both wildlife and people.’
Coastal Partners vision is to manage coastlines, improve community resilience and enhance the natural environment. We represent five local authorities, including Havant Borough and Chichester District Councils, covering Chichester Harbour’s Coastline. Our core role is to deliver projects that reduce the risk of coastal flooding and erosion to people, the developed and natural environment.
Coastal Partners are proud to be represented on the CHaPRoN steering group, as our network of environmental sites is under significant pressure, as the climate, sea level, and land uses change. It is therefore essential that we work together to identify and reduce these pressures and create new environmental improvement opportunities that we can then help deliver on the ground.
Chichester District Council
Chichester Harbour is incredibly important to the council, its residents and visitors. We are committed to working with our partners within the Chichester Harbour Protection & Recovery of Nature group to look at how we can improve water quality; conserve, protect and restore wildlife and habitats; and make sure that we protect this special place for years to come. We all have a role to play in achieving this and by working together we believe that we can make a big difference.
Havant Borough Council
Havant Borough Council is committed to protecting and enhancing the local natural environment, which includes the internationally important Chichester Harbour. The ecosystem services provided by the natural environment represent a life-support system we all rely upon. This environment adds to wellbeing and makes Havant a great place to live, work and visit. As set out in both our Biodiversity Strategy (January 2019) and our Climate Change and Environment Strategy (2021-2026), Havant Borough Council supports and promotes initiatives that halt biodiversity loss, conserve the biodiversity value of trees, support healthy, well-functioning ecosystems, and establish coherent ecological networks, with more and better paces for nature for the benefit of wildlife and people. This aligns perfectly with the purpose of the CHaPRoN long-term partnership initiative, of which we are proud to be a partner, represented by Coastal Partners.