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dell Quay Chichester Harbour

Not only one of the few remaining undeveloped coastal areas in Southern England, but rarer still, Chichester Harbour remains relatively wild. Its bright wide expanses and intricate creeks are at the same time a major wildlife haven and among some of Britain's most popular boating waters.


Dinghy Racing Chichester Harbour
Goodwood Races Festival of speedGoodwood Revival Chichester Festival TheatreChichester Harbour

Chichester Harbour

The massive stretch of tidal flats and saltings are of outstanding ecological significance. Very large populations of wildfowl and waders use the mudflats feeding on the rich plant life and the huge populations of intertidal invertebrates. More than 7,500 Brent geese overwinter on the intertidal mud-land and adjacent farmland and more than 50,000 birds reside in or visit the harbour throughout the year.

Picturesque creekside villages encircle the shoreline, which straddles the boundary of West Sussex and Hampshire counties. These range from the vibrant village of Emsworth, to the beautifully quiet hamlet of Prinsted. The harbour lowlands contain high quality arable farmland and boatyards, marinas and commercial fishing are important elements of the local economy.

Sailing at Chichester Harbour

Chichester Harbour is one of the south coast's most popular sailing waters with as many as 12,500 craft regularly using the harbour, with competitive racing taking place among the 14 sailing clubs of the Chichester Harbour Federation. The villages, sea walls and footpaths are a popular leisure area for residents and tourists alike.

The Chichester Harbour Conservancy

Set up by Act of Parliament in 1971, Chichester Harbour Conservancy has the duty to conserve, maintain and improve the harbour and amenity area for recreation, natural conservation and natural beauty. As well as being the statutory harbour authority, the Conservancy manages the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Following a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2003, the three year Rhythms of the Tide project will see the implementation of around 40 projects throughout the AONB. These include improvements to disabled facilities, a solar powered boat for informative and educational trips around the Harbour, archaeological research and habitat enhancements. One of the projects will see the restoration of the last working oyster boat in Chichester Harbour, the 'Terror'.

For more information on Chichester Harbour Conservancy see or contact the Harbour Master on 01243 512301.


Photography provided with thanks to:

Top left: A view of Dell Quay
Photo: Chichester Harbour Conservancy

Right: Dinghy racing in Federation Regatta Week 2005.
Credit: Matt Simmons.

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