Residents and visitors delighted to easily access Bracklesham beach again

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Social media was buzzing last week with delighted users thanking Chichester District Council for creating a path through the shingle onto the beach at Bracklesham.

Responding to a Face Book post by Bracklesham and East Wittering Parish Council thanking CDC for restoring the easy access path through the shingle, one user exclaimed “Brilliant, been a bit tricky to get down there lately.”

Dozens of people liked the post, with comments such as “thank you”, “thanks to those that listened. So many people will benefit from this,” “thank you from us all” and “thank heavens”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Parish Council said that the clearance was one of three trial clearances, explaining that it will be monitoring how much the path is used to justify the cost of clearing the path.

Bracklesham Bluetits using the beach pathBracklesham Bluetits using the beach path
Bracklesham Bluetits using the beach path

Some residents were perplexed as to why a trial was needed. “Don’t understand a trial. The more accessible the beach the most visitors, the more revenue for local businesses, the more revenue the easier it is for them to pay the local taxes,” one user wrote.

Residents had expressed concern several weeks ago that the closure of the Foreshore Boat Launching Service at Bracklesham would result in a pathway through the shingle not being cleared during the summer months. At a packed Parish Council meeting, they explained to Jonathan Brown, CDC’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategies, that many locals and visitors were unable to access the beach due to the steep shingle banks and relied on a path being cleared each summer.

Fortunately, Jonathan and his fellow Elected Councillors managed to persuade CDC officers to pay for the service this summer as a trial. “If the opportunities created by the clearances are really valued ie lots of people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to use the beach do so, then a longer-lasting way forward can be considered,” said Jonathan, adding that “the onus will be on the Parish Council to consider whether and how this is taken forward, but I am sure that CDC will want to be supportive and it may be that this is something the community need to pick up and run with.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Among the beach users welcoming the new access path are the Bracklesham Bay Bluetits, who posted a video of “Delighted Bluetits accessing the sea this morning without mountaineering” on to their Facebook page.

Comments on their Facebook page included, “I use a Waveski for surfing so it has been a nightmare carrying it up and down. Horray thanks for pushing for this to happen.” One Bluetit noted that getting down to the beach is now “like a walk in the park” rather than a mountaineering expedition.

“I was only on the beach for an hour today and saw masses of evidence of people using the slipway. It’s basic but a whole lot better than nothing,” wrote Gilly Bowen, a regular Bracklesham Bluetit sea swimmer, who has been campaigning for the ramp to be restored.

“Without that ramp the beach is inaccessible to many,” said another Bluetit. “Excellent. We can now come to Bracklesham beach without sprained ankles,” wrote another.