THE population of a protected beauty spot has grown by a quarter in recent years, a report shows.
The number of people living in Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has increased to 10,500.
The report, drawn up by Chichester Harbour Conservancy, looked at the health of the harbour to see how it was faring in 2013.
Research showed the harbour area is dominated by arable farming, with 70 per cent of the land as Grade One farmland.
National and international wildlife designations cover nearly half of the area.
And there are 271 listed building in the area, as well as 12,305 registered boats.
Siún Cranny, conservancy director, said: ‘The state of the AONB showed that Chichester Harbour provides a tranquil and rural haven in the densely-populated south coast.
She added: ‘This work shows just how important Chichester Harbour is for local people and visitors to enjoy.
‘And we are working very hard to conserve its special character for future generations.’
To see the report visit conservancy.co.uk