If you enjoy the Natural World you will love the Witterings and the Manhood Peninsula. Boasting five protected areas the Peninsula is awash with flora and fauna. Perhaps the most famous of the five is the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of Chichester Harbour managed by Chichester Harbour Conservancy, one of the south coasts largest natural harbours. At the entrance to the harbour is the protected area of East Head famous for its glorious sand dunes owned and managed by the National Trust. Keep up with the month by month comings and goings in the Harbour follow Ed's Nature Notes Bracklesham Bay is an area of Special Scientific Interest and famous for its fossil beds, where it is easy to spot the odd fossilised shark tooth (or several) at low tide. Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve, another natural harbour on the Peninsula, is owned and managed by the RSPB. The visiting birds and fowl are glorious at all times of the year, but especially during the cooler Autumn, Winter & Spring. Nearing completion is the newest special area; the RSPB Medmerry Nature Reserve at Bracklesham Bay (see below). It has been borne out of one of the largest managed retreat projects in the country. The sea will be allowed to breach these defences in late Autumn 2013 and a glorious new nature reserve adjacent to the sea will be formed.
Medmerry Entire Site
Medmerry Water Vole Habitat August 2012
Medmerry Reed Beds
RSPB Medmerry nature reserve - bracklesham bay ssI
This protected area has been under serious threat of Coastal erosion, endangering the homes & livlihoods of many local residents. alongside the the flora and fauna of the region.The RSPB purchased the site in 2006 and has also recently taken ownership of the nearby Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve. The creation of this huge new area of wildlife habitat, will not only protect the habitats of existing species, but also encourage new ones to the region. Some of these wonderful birds may be regular visitors to the new reserve Black-tailed godwit Long-billed waders can be seen here in autumn, spring and autumn. Look out for their striking black and white wingbars as they take flight. Brent goose Flocks of brent geese come to feed on the fields and saltmarsh in winter. They can be seen in good numbers here from October and linger well into the spring to make sure their Arctic breeding grounds have thawed out. Little egret These dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year here. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet. Little tern As their name suggests, little terns are the smallest of the British terns and nest colonially at Pagham Harbour. Pintai Pintails flock here in autumn and winter. Look out for the elegant males and their amazing long tails.
The Avocet is just one of the wonderful birds we can expect to see at Medmerry once the site is established.
The common lizard, just one of the reptiles for which Medmerry is an incredibly rich site
In addition to Nature, some fascinating Archeology has been unleashed throughout the excavation and construction of the Reserve. New Green Cycle, Wheelchair and Bridle Routes have been created, along with a small car park allowing full access to the area year round.