Woodland saved from the sea by locals’ campaign

DIGGING IN Gerry Hansford, Corinne Penman, Paul Tasker and Melanie Coles from Lockheed Martin help clear vegetation
DIGGING IN Gerry Hansford, Corinne Penman, Paul Tasker and Melanie Coles from Lockheed Martin help clear vegetation
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WORK has begun protecting a fragile stretch of beautiful coastline thanks to fundraising by residents.

The Friends of Nore Barn Woods have managed to raise £15,000 to install an earth bank nearly 300ft long to protect woodland on the Emsworth coast.

Parts of the wood are in danger of falling into the sea unless a bank is built to give protection from the spring tides. Six mature oak trees, vegetation and part of the footpath are under threat.

Bruce Darby, chairman of the group, said: ‘We have received wonderful support from local organisations and individuals and we are most grateful. We are pleased that an earth bank should begin to take shape soon, helping to conserve this well-loved woodland.’

The woods are a 10-minute walk west from the centre of Emsworth and overlook Chichester Harbour in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

At the weekend the Friends of Nore Barn Woods were joined by local contractor Mike Reed who donated his services for a day and removed overhanging vegetation. Five employees from Lockheed Martin also got stuck in.

In a few weeks’ time the machines will move in to deposit tons of clay and stone and a rammed earth bank will be constructed.

Then applications will be made to environmental trusts for funding to pay for a membrane for more protection. If the bid succeeds the work should take place next year. The shore path will be closed off while the initial work takes place.

Mr Darby added: ‘The area may look unsightly for a short time while work is going on but the final result should be a great improvement.’

Significant donations were made by local businesses and individuals.

Go to norebarnwoods.org.uk, call 01243 377404 or email patbalchin@gmail.com to donate.