The Friends make grants running currently at around £35,000 pa towards a variety of large and small projects aimed at protecting and improving the Harbour, making it more accessible to all and providing educational opportunities.
The winter storms in 2013/14 wreaked a lot of damage to footpaths around the Harbour. The Friends stepped in with an immediate £14,000 grant plus Work Parties to help in making immediate repairs. Defending the Harbour from the encroaching seas is a constant task . Over the last few years the Friends have given £13,500 towards sea defence work protecting Nore Barn Woods – an important public recreational area.
Somewhat similarly the Friends gave £5,000 towards the extension of the Trippet Wall in Bosham – an area heavily used by visitors.
The large number of sailors, motor boaters and kayakers rely on the weather stations in the Harbour (Chimet and Cambermet) for accurate information. This year the Friends have donated £6,000 towards the cost of replacing the equipment – which has reached the end of it’s life.
Other 2014/5 projects included: -
- - providing free Solar Heritage trips for those with special educational needs or socially deprived schools through the Get 'Afloat' programme.
- - Enabling pupils in local schools to debate, in the Council Chamber, issues concerning the Harbour via the Junior Conservancy
- - Replacing existing visitor information boards throughout the Harbour
- - Equipping conservation work parties
Minor grants are also provided for a range educational activities, most recently we have supported photographic competitions, providing disabled access to boat trips on the harbour.
Because the future is fairly unpredictable, the Friends carry a significant level of reserves (see Financial Accounts). For example, East Head – which protects the whole Harbour from the sea – is known to be somewhat at risk and the Friends holds a specific reserve against the possibility of a severe storm damaging it.