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A DISTINGUISHED chartered accountant has taken over as the chairman of a charity working to protect Chichester Harbour.

John Nelson, 65, chairman of Lloyd’s of London, has succeeded retired diplomat Sir Jeremy Thomas to lead the Chichester Harbour Trust.

Sir Jeremy, the trust’s founding chairman, stepped down on his 82nd birthday on June 1.

The charity’s aim is to acquire land in the most vulnerable areas to preserve it for future generations.

It now owns more than 230 acres of harbourside land at 11 sites.

Mr Nelson has lived in Bosham for the past 25 years.

He said: ‘I enjoy sailing, but I love the harbour.

‘It sounds trite, but it is the environment that makes it so special.

‘You think of Chichester and the South Downs and you think of the harbour, and you think what is to the west and the east of it.

‘And until you get to the West Country, there is nowhere as beautiful on the south coast as Chichester Harbour.’