Family event at harbour sees hundreds attend

Visitors at the harbour. Picture by Paul Adams
Visitors at the harbour. Picture by Paul Adams

Hundreds attended an open day held by Chichester Harbour Conservancy at Itchenor.

It was a busy event, held on Thursday, May 31, as around 400 people arrived to enjoy free boat trips, wildlife sessions, and a wide range of family activities.

Learning about ropes. Picture by Paul Adams

Learning about ropes. Picture by Paul Adams

There were four full boat trips on the Solar Heritage with 200 people enjoying the harbour on a free trip.

The conservancy is working hard to remove single use plastics – given the increasing problem of marine plastics – and as part of the launch of its first drinking water station gave away around 300 reusable water bottles to cut down on single use plastics.

The event was organised to showcase the full range of activities and services involved in running a busy leisure harbour that is also an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The conservancy’s vessels and RIBs were out in force, and engineering work was demonstrated on the moorings barge.

Happy face at the event. Picture by Paul Adams

Happy face at the event. Picture by Paul Adams

Onshore there was the chance to meet the patrol and rangers teams, experience a photography workshop with Paul Gonella, take part in a wildlife walk and glimpse the sun using a special solar telescope.

Itchenor Sailing Club was open for lunch and refreshments, where visitors could take in the views from the Buttery.

The Sailing Club also staged an art display showcasing work by local artists, and hosted some children’s activities.

As visitors explored the different activities they collected stamps which they can exchange for the free reusable water bottle aimed at reducing the quantity of single use plastic around the Harbour.

Richard Craven, director and harbour master, said: “A number of our visitors and staff suggested that we hold an Open Day to share all that the harbour has to offer, and it has been exciting to arrange such an interesting day for all the family.

“We were able to show how this busy harbour and beautiful landscape has something to offer everyone and enjoyed welcoming the public so they can see first-hand the breadth of work undertaken by the conservancy to maintain and improve this fabulous local resource.”