Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The result was a precious habitat for seabirds ranging from waders to wildfowl, with varieties of migratory birds joining native species.
During the winter months, there are large numbers of Brent Geese, while in summer the reserve is home to migrants such as wheatears, sandwich terns, and sand martins.
Pagham Harbour is about more than birds, however. The shingle beach is an ideal environment for flowers like Poppy and Bugloss. There are nature trails from the Visitor Centre in Sidlesham.
This is one of the few remaining stretches of undeveloped coastline in Sussex. It takes in a vast array of stunning coastal landscapes, historic environments, and wildlife habitat. The sheltered harbour is subject to the ebb and flow of the tides, and each emptying and filling of the Harbour recreates a spectacularly diverse environment. In winter the Harbour is home to huge flocks of rent geese and flocks of wading birds.
There are three colour-coded nature trails in the Reserve. The circular Discovery Trail begins at the visitor centre in Sidlesham and is 1.75 miles long. The trail takes in the Sussex Wildlife Trust's Ferry Pool, an ideal spot to view ducks and wading birds. The trail then follows a historic tramway towards Sidlesham Quay before turning back through fields lined by hedgerows. Visitors with limited mobility might prefer a shorter 3/4 mile loop suitable for wheelchairs.
At the southern end of the Reserve is St Wilfrid's Chapel at Church Norton. From a large parking area beside the chapel, the Church Norton Trail runs along the shore to a bird hide perfectly placed to spot wading birds and terns. Further south along the trail you can spot divers, grebes, and sea-ducks in winter. Church Norton Trail links with local public footpaths that take you north and west to the Sidlesham visitor centre.
The third nature trail is the North Wall Trail, starting at the Salthouse at the north-eastern edge of the Reserve. The Trail runs 1 kilometre one way, with the option to join public footpaths to the Sidlesham visitor centre, adding another kilometre to the total distance. This Trail is perfect for avid birdwatchers. It passes beside Breach Pool, where you will see waders, then beside reedbeds busy with warblers. In winter this area has a huge influx of brent geese.
You are not limited to the three 'official' nature trails; the entire Pagham Harbour area is crisscrossed by public footpaths, taking you through a fascinating historic landscape. One footpath links the visitor centre to the RSPB Medmerry reserve.
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve
Address: The Visitor Centre, Selsey Road, Sidlesham, West Sussex, England, PO20 7NE
Attraction Type: Countryside
Website: Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Church Norton, St Wilfrid's Church - 1.8 miles (Historic Church)
Earnley Butterflies and Gardens - 2.2 miles (Garden)
Bognor Regis Museum - 4.9 miles (Museum)
Chichester Cathedral - 5 miles (Cathedral)
Chichester, St John the Evangelist - 5 miles (Historic Church)
Pallant House Gallery - 5 miles (Museum)
The Novium Museum - 5.1 miles (Museum)
Fishbourne Roman Palace - 5.2 miles (Roman Site)
Nearest Accommodation to Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve: