Walking your dog around Pagham Harbour RSPB Reserve

close up of sea kale berries

Pagham Harbour is the nearest of the three Harbours to Chichester Self Catering and stunning! Is is about 3/4mile away on foot on VERY quiet rural lanes, although to get to it you do have to cross a busy B-road to Selsey. Dog walking is actively encouraged in many parts of the Reserve and some areas are also wheelchair accessible.

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7 Walking your dog around Pagham Harbour RSPB Reserve

It is of such importance that it has no fewer than 4 national and international wildlife designations and is part of a European network of protected areas.

PaghamH-erosion3000-300x225 Walking your dog around Pagham Harbour RSPB Reserve

The County Council’s policy for those who wish to walk their dogs around it is to allow them to enjoy the Reserve whilst keeping the disturbance to wildlife and other visitors to a minimum. All the activities on the Reserve are managed to achieve this aim.

Pagham Harbour is a really special site – and we want to keep it this way!

Many of the paths can be walked with dogs off the lead (some are permissive bridleways) there are a few protected areas which have no access at all, and some areas where dogs MUST be on the lead – to protect the wild birds, especially at nesting time.

Sidlesham-Quay-30.6.12-1000px-300x225 Walking your dog around Pagham Harbour RSPB Reserve
Sidlesham Quay

Fortunately the Reserve has good and clear signage indicating whether dogs can be walked on or off the lead or not at all. The main areas around the Pagham Lagoon and Church Lane end and the North Wall are all dog off-the-lead-friendly but the Little Lagoon is NOT. The local area to the Sidlesham side – close to the Visitor Centre and also Yeoman’s Field is also fine.

The foreshore by Church Norton Spit and around the Reserve towards Sidlesham is sensitive for roosting and nesting birds – both on the shore, the shingle banks and on the shingle islands, saltmarsh and mudflats. Please ensure your dogs are under control at all times, especially in the Spring and early Summer. This may mean putting them on the lead.

At the northern end of the Reserve there are fields which are internationally important for wildfowl and waders all year round, and it has livestock on the fields. Please do not go into these areas.

Pagham-Harbour-grasses-30.6.12-1000px-300x225 Walking your dog around Pagham Harbour RSPB Reserve
Summer grasses in Pagham Harbour Reserve

There is a lovely Children’s Education fenced-off reserve area near the Visitor Centre on the Sidlesham side. NO dogs are allowed in there at all.

The Harbour is wonderful at all times of the year. You can see all types of permanent and visiting birds, deer, small rodents, including water voles if you know where to look! I hope you and your family enjoy this natural resource as much as I do.

During the winter in particular the Harbour is host to huge flocks of geese and wading birds (the “little brown jobbies”!) and you can watch the murmurations as they wheel about in flocks in awe! It is also an excellent time of the year to stay at Chichester Self catering as the rental cost is less and the birdlife increased! Come back to the house for a hot tub soak or steam in the sauna after a fun day!

Call me now to book your stay up – short breaks and weekend breaks are often available!

07769 746113 Gayle

© Gayle Palmer 2014

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