Chidham and Hambrook Village - everyday

Chidham and Hambrook - Chidham & Hambrook Parish Council - Environment

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Sunday Sept 21st Litter Blitz
Thanks for doing something about it!

The team met at the Village Hall Car Park and subsequently fanned out across Chidham and Hambrook, collecting 13 bags of rubbish.

Alastair Wooolley with some of the bags of rubbish collected to be taken to the tip.
If you would like to join the team and think you have what it takes to wield a litter picking stick let me know.

Volunteers have been working hard clearing the land of much accumulated rubbish and cutting back the nettles and bracken that had overrun the land. The Harbour Conservancy has tilled the cleared areas to encourage re-growth of the seedbed in the spring and dredged the stream to improve drainage.

Children from Chidham School have planted field maple, alder and other trees that suit a woodland setting. They worked under the guidance of Conservancy staff and were ably assisted by residents, teachers and school governors. The School and the Conservancy are keen to use The Dell as a learning resource and have been working towards this from the start. The work continued with the planting by volunteers of hawthorn and blackthorn hedging and additional trees.

A 5-year Management Plan has very recently been finalised by the Conservancy in conjunction with the Parish Council and residents. This will include the planting of coarse grass pathways that will eventually give an attractive access to the glades that will develop.
Who's in charge?
Lynda Aplin blends into the background.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who continue to work so hard, up to their knees in mud, to restore The Dell to its former glory.

Cliff Archer

Mark Covell and Cliff Archer

Spotlight on Hamstead Meadow

Following the replacement of the footway light in Hamstead Meadow, it is worthy of note that this is only half the job!

The head is temporary, to be replaced when available, with a more ornate Victorian gas light type, and mock ladder rail (the horizontal bar just below the light used to rest ladders on when lit by hand with a naked flame). And finally painted black.

In the unfortunately protracted negotiations by the Parish Council about its replacement, we were careful to obtain the correct lamp, low energy in line with our on going policy to reduce energy consumption and light pollution. It is hoped the finished article will be in place soon.

Our environment working party is currently considering a number of comments received via the Parish Plan questionnaire analysis in relation to Hamstead Meadow, and a few initiatives are already underway.
The Highway Authority has agreed to tidy the base of the Oak trees where brambles and ivy are over taking.

We have also requested the removal of the ‘old stump’ and a replacement tree is to be planted later in the year. From little acorns…

Other ideas contained in your responses will be looked at and residents will be canvassed in due course.

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Roadside gully drains

Two years ago the PC started to grumble about the dreadful state of these vital links to our drainage system. We drew up a map to show the relevant contractors where the drains were and offered them on site help. Not much changed, despite many letters, until very recently when the PC took photographs of the worst 18 gullies and sent them to the Highways department.
At last the Highways department have agreed that they have problems with their present contractors and the two before them. Now they are asking us to help them make the operation more efficient. So hopefully things should start to improve soon. This leads us on to….

Main Ditches in the Parish

The Parish Council has now identified the ditches that they will consider for possible financial help in maintaining. These we have called arterial ditches. These are ones that we feel will cause serious disruption /damage to houses and or access roads if they are not working well. These are also ditches that carry water from a large area and or many individual properties to the main collecting points either the Catchpond or the area behind Hamstead Meadow known as the Dell. The Parish Council is currently working on a decent map of all the major ditches in the Parish to help us all understand how they all work together to keep us dry. It is noteworthy that since the very damaging floods of 1994 when many houses were flooded and the subsequent major push by the PC to help people realise their responsibilities and to help some of those financially that the Parish has not been flooded again by water coming from poorly maintained ditches. Lets keep them that way.

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 West Chidham Tidebank - Work has started!

The state of the tidebank on the west side of the Chidham peninsula has been very unsatisfactory for many years. However, despite several setbacks, construction work on a new section of tidebank is at last well under way. The Harbour Conservancy expects that the work will be completed by the end of October.

The new section of bank will be set back from the existing bank and will be more than 1.5 km long. In order to obtain a level bank top, along which the diverted public footpath will run, the bank will vary in height between 1 and 2 metres above the ground surface.

Between the existing and new tidebanks, 22 hectares of precious intertidal habitat will form naturally over time as the existing bank deteriorates. The new bank has been designed for the 1 in 200 year tidal event and the Conservancy is required to maintain it for 80 years.

A section of the existing public footpath to the north of the scheme will be improved as part of the overall scheme. The complete length of footpath on the existing bank will be maintained until the new bank has fully consolidated, at which time the footpath will be diverted to its new location.

A detailed habitat survey revealed, much to the Conservancy’s delight, the presence of a colony of water voles. The work has been carefully planned to avoid disruption to the colony.

Cliff Archer

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The Dell

The land behind Hamstead Meadow in Chidham Lane is known as The Dell. It is an amazing area of mixed habitat, including deciduous woodland, open glades, wetland and a freshwater stream. Just have a look below at the long list of plants and animals to be found there! The list was compiled last year by Gillian Edom, who kindly undertook a habitat survey of The Dell at the request of the Parish Council.

In the past, generations of local people valued The Dell, as it is known, as a quiet place to visit and enjoy. However, over the years The Dell became overgrown and virtually unusable.
The Dell - in need of TLC

The Parish Council, local residents, the Chichester Harbour Trust and the Chichester Harbour Conservancy have worked together to rectify this unhappy situation. After much negotiation, the Harbour Trust has obtained a 125-year lease of that part of The Dell owned by the District Council. The traditional peppercorn was the ‘payment’ for the lease!

The Trust was set up to acquire parcels of land of environmental value and conserve and manage them in perpetuity. The Dell has been the subject of detailed investigations to determine its habitat/conservation value and examine other matters. A management scheme, addressing environmental, health, safety, access and other issues is in the final stages of development.

Once the management scheme has been finalised, the Harbour Conservancy will take the lead role in the necessary remedial and ongoing maintenance work. However, the Conservancy will need the help and co-operation of local people to ensure that The Dell remains an attractive and quiet area.

We will keep you updated on progress.

Cliff Archer

Species observed in the Dell

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