Chichester Harbour - this is how a major action plan will help save one of world's most important nature sites

A major action plan has been agreed to help protect Chichester Harbour – one of the most environmentally important on the planet.
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The breakthrough summit included representatives of all the key bodies who have the power to make a real difference to the future of the threatened harbour in West Sussex.

A comprehensive list of actions, in the immediate term, and then into the medium and longer term, have now been agreed, covering water quality, nitrates, habitat restoration and coastal management and much more. A follow up meeting has been arranged in December to give a progress update on these actions to ensure we keep up the momentum with this important work.

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The Chichester Harbour Action Summit meeting was convened by the Chichester Harbour Trust to agree an action plan to recover the environmental status of the Chichester Harbour AONB, a nationally and internationally important nature site; bringing together the key agencies and existing work areas to ensure efforts are joined up.

Image by Paul Adams: Chichester Harbour.Image by Paul Adams: Chichester Harbour.
Image by Paul Adams: Chichester Harbour.

John Nelson, the Chair of the Chichester Harbour Trust, chaired the meeting. He said: “We arranged this meeting with a sense of urgency given the ongoing environmental deterioration that we are all seeing in the Harbour. We were very encouraged that all parties who attended approached the issues in a collaborative spirit and with a sense of renewed energy.”

Matt Briers, CEO of the Chichester Harbour Conservancy said: “Thanks to the detailed preparation ahead of the meeting we were able to agree a comprehensive list of actions on the day. These will help us to progress our collective aim of reversing the decline of our Harbour. The challenge is now to ensure these actions are delivered with vigour. We look forward to keeping our local communities up to date on the progress we are making.”

Thank you to all who took part for their commitment and enthusiasm in recognising the need to work together now to make the Harbour a healthier environment for wildlife and people to enjoy for the future.

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The meeting, held in Chichester Harbour, was attended by; the Chairs of the Environment Agency and OFWAT, the CEO of Southern Water, both the Leader and Chief Executive of Chichester District Council, representatives from Natural England, the CEO and Environment Manager of Chichester Harbour Conservancy and representatives of the Chichester Harbour Trust.

The Chichester Harbour Trust is a registered charity established in 2002 to protect the natural beauty and wildlife habitats of Chichester Harbour, through the acquisition of land within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Trust now holds over 375 acres of land in 15 sites around the harbour. With ever-growing support from the local community, the Trust works in partnership with the Harbour Conservancy, landowners, local authorities and all those who love Chichester Harbour and wish to protect it for everyone to enjoy

The Chichester Harbour Trust Fighting Fund campaign to raise at least £1.5m over the next year to protect the Harbour is live at

Earlier this year Chichester Harbour Trust said that it had become increasingly apparent there was an environmental catastrophe unfolding in Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and in the district more widely.

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