Covid 19 Response | Harbour Life Magazine | Latest Blog

Countryfile and the Seals of Chichester Harbour

Chichester Harbour recently featured on BBC One's Countryfile  programme and we expect that there will be increased interest in seeing the seals that find a safe haven in this harbour. 

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of people kayaking, paddleboarding and canoeing recently - please avoid the seal haul-out site but if you do happen to find yourself on the water in the vicinity please keep at least 100m away to avoid disturbing the seals.  Some will be onshore but there may be some in the water.  At this time of year they are nursing young pups and will be very protective of them and potentially aggressive if approached too closely.

Check out The Solent Seals Code of Conduct  and Enjoying Paddlesports in Chichester Harbour for more information.

Covid 19 Response

Issued 03 July 2020

Recreational Boating

The guidance issued by DEFRA for ‘Using a Boat Inland and on the Coast’ will be withdrawn from 04 July 2020, meaning that there will no longer be any specific restrictions on waterways businesses or recreational boating. This includes skippered charter and passenger boat operations, as well as those wishing to stay overnight on their boat.

Boating operators are responsible for conducting a Risk Assessment drawing on the relevant sources of government guidance for Covid-10, available here.

Conservancy visitor berths are available for overnight stays. However, to comply with continuing social distancing guidelines the following restrictions apply:

  • A maximum of two vessels will be permitted to raft on visitor moorings.
  • No rafting of vessels will be permitted on visitor pontoons.
  • Visitor berthing cannot be booked in advance and availability remains on a first-come-first-served basis.

Further information for visiting vessels is available here.

Social distancing is still playing a huge part in everyone’s daily lives and will continue to do so for the immediate future. The current Government advice under the Stay Alert campaign is to ‘Stay at home where possible’ and we would encourage all harbour users to be judicious in planning their recreation.

To maintain safety in Chichester Harbour:

  • Please follow social distancing guidance.
  • Observe the signage on Conservancy jetties and hards.
  • The ferry at Itchenor is now operating. The wearing of face masks is mandatory and strict social distancing requirements are in place.
  • The use of tenders is identified as a high-risk activity, and we caution mariners to take extra care when accessing their vessels. Click here for advice.
  • Rescues pose a risk to both the casualty and the rescuer. Please ensure that your craft is well maintained and that you sail within the limits of your abilities.   

To get in touch with our patrol team call CHICHESTER HARBOUR PATROL on VHF Channel 14, or telephone the Harbour Office on 01243 512301. In an emergency please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

We appreciate your continued support in maintaining a safe harbour.

Harbour Dues 2020 - 2021

Harbour Dues are payable on all vessels and craft using Chichester Harbour, from the largest motor-yachts to canoes, kayaks and paddle boards. Please contact the Harbour Office at Itchenor on 01243 512301 to have your Harbour Dues plaque posted to you.

Risk Assessment

Chichester Harbour Conservancy have carried out a full Risk Assessment into all aspect of operations carried out by harbour staff and the management of Conservancy owned facilities within the harbour during the Coronavirus pandemic. To try and protect our employees and customers a full range of measures have been implemented in order to comply with current Government guidance. To view the Risk Assessment please click here. Please contact the Harbour Office, preferably by email to, if you have any questions.

Further Measures

The launching hard at Itchenor is open for people to launch and recover vessels. 

We would ask people to be patient and to use the one-way system that have been put in place on the jetty. If the jetty, hard and car park become busy, our staff may be required to actively manage these areas and we would ask for everyone’s co-operation and understanding during this time.

The Maintenance Piles at Itchenor are available, however usage will be closely monitored and booking in advance is mandatory.

The carpark at Itchenor is open however we would encourage people to pay by card or through the MiPermit app (which is available for both Apple and Android devices) wherever possible.

The showers at Itchenor currently remain closed.

Itchenor Footpath Ferry

The ferry is open and operating to the usual schedule.

The wearing of face coverings is compulsory to protect other passengers and crew in line with Government directives for public transport. Card payments only, please.

Due to social distancing requirements numbers of passengers travelling per trip will be limited. This may mean a longer wait than usual.  We ask for your patience and respect for social distancing while you are waiting on the jetties.

Harbour Offices

The Harbour Offices at Itchenor and Emsworth are open during office hours. To protect our staff and customers, a 'one person at a time' policy is strictly in effect and social distance markings have been put down where appropriate outside the offices so that people can queue safely. Where at all possible we would encourage customers to conduct business by phone or email. If you wish to renew harbour dues or other charges, please refer to the online payment instructions in your renewal email. If you need to make changes or pay new charges, please contact the Harbour Office preferably by email to If you have a general enquiry, please check the information on our website first or call 01243 512301.

The Conservancy team remains operational and we are working hard to minimise any effect this has on the level of service for Harbour users, on our responsibilities as Statutory Harbour Authority and for the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

We will keep all Government advice under review and any further information or changes to our operation will be published on our website as the situation evolves.

Walking, Running and Cycling in Chichester Harbour AONB

The footpaths and Salterns Way cycle path have remained open throughout the Covid-19 crisis. Some of the more popular footpaths have become increasingly busy recently, particularly between Fishbourne and West Wittering and also Prinsted to Cobnor Point.

Please do not cycle on public footpaths, cyclists have no right of way. There has been a rise in cyclists using waterside footpaths which are designed for walkers only. Cycling on these footpaths is causing damage which is difficult and costly to repair. Please stick to roads, cycle paths or bridleways, the Salterns Way cycle path is the best route from Chichester to West Wittering with great viewpoints along the way.

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Harbour Life - Summer 2020

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