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Restoring Marina Farm

The Chichester Harbour Trust purchased the property known as “Marina Farm”, Thorney Road, Emsworth in December 2022. The property comprises 2.5 acres of land divided into three small paddocks with a large area of hard-standing with derelict stables, storage sheds and a barn. There are two public rights of way through the property.

The site has a chequered history, a succession of unsuccessful planning applications for development and is currently in dilapidated condition. It represents an eyesore in the AONB, detracting from the visual amenity and enjoyment of the countryside by the community. It has been a priority for the Trust to purchase this site as soon as the opportunity arose, to break the cycle of inappropriate use and realise the opportunity to remediate the land and return it to community use as a countryside site.

The Trust holds the 999-year lease of the adjacent property to the south, Eames Farm, which is a local nature reserve and part of the Chichester Harbour SSSI, SPA designated site.

The Trust’s ambition for Marina Farm is to carry out a restoration project to return the land to countryside for the enjoyment of local people and to increase biodiversity, with the removal of existing buildings and hardstanding and the creation of new landscaping with tree planting, wildlife areas, attractive boundary fencing and improved footpath surfaces.

There will be three parts to the work:

1. Ecological survey - to discover more about the existing habitats and species at the site and provide recommendations for how to encourage wildlife to flourish in future through habitat creation and management. (May 2023)

2. Site remediation and preparation; to secure the property and make it safe; removing the dilapidated fencing, hardstanding and buildings, and removing all waste materials currently at the site. (Summer - Autumn 2023)

3. Restoration. Carry out landscaping and habitat creation to improve the land for wildlife and people; to include new boundary fencing, tree planting, wildflower meadows and footpath surfacing. (Autumn - Winter 2023)

The Trust purchased the property using its capital reserves, but we need to raise funds to carry out the restoration works over the coming year. We will be making applications to local grant-making bodies, and the local community. We welcome donations to support this project, which can be made through our JustGiving page or directly to us by online transfer.

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