Exciting announcement



The Friends of Chichester Harbour is delighted to announce that its ‘Return of the Tern: Nature Recovery on the Southern Coastal Plain’ project has been awarded a grant from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million-pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery.

Ninety nature projects across England have been awarded grants from £68,100 to £1,950,000 to create and retain over 1,000 green jobs, backed by the Government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund. Work will be carried out on over 600 sites from North Northumberland to the tip of Cornwall – of the 90 projects across the country to be championed in this way, the ‘Return of the Tern’ is the only West Sussex-dedicated initiative to be supported with this much-needed funding.

The ‘Return of the Tern’ is an ambitious environmental project – in partnership with Chichester Harbour Conservancy – that will focus on nature recovery along the south coast, stretching from Langstone Harbour & Farlington Marshes to Pagham Harbour and taking in Chichester Harbour, Bracklesham Bay and Medmerry too. It will also head inland along wildlife corridors – west and east of Chichester – up to the foot of the South Downs.  Undertakings will include the placement of nine new tern rafts with remote-operated CCTV cameras at strategic harbour points, conducting a small fish survey, the reshingling of Stakes Island (at the entrance to the Thorney Channel) and Ella Nore Spit (near West Wittering) and the appointment of a Nature Recovery Officer.

We are hugely honoured to have the importance of the ‘Return of the Tern’ project for our section of the coastline recognised by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund and are extremely grateful for this significant funding that will enable our 18-month project to proceed.

All those who share with us a love for Chichester Harbour and an eagerness to preserve and improve its unique beauty should be equally excited by what can now be pursued to further protect the area. In collaboration with Chichester Harbour Conservancy, we very much look forward to engaging the local community with the ‘Return of the Tern’ as activity takes shape.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. Connecting people with nature is another priority theme: by increasing access to nature and greenspaces, projects will support both physical and mental wellbeing. The Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm’s-Length Bodies. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency, and Forestry Commission.