People rally round to save wood from sea

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ONE of the last stretches of coastal woodland in the south has been protected after residents rallied round to build new sea defences.

A total of £15,000 was raised to pay for a new earth bank to protect the shore of Nore Barn Wood, a six-acre hawthorn and oak wood between Emsworth and Warblington that is home to many birds, butterflies and rare plants.

The Friends of Nore Barn Wood, a group of residents who are passionate about the beauty spot, worked together to raise the money.

Mike Thomas, a committee member, said: ‘It’s the last stretch of woodland round the harbour.

‘The main thing that spurred us on was seeing six oaks being undermined – all the roots were showing and they were in danger.

‘Another winter and we would have lost them. We want to protect the woods for future generations.’

Grants were sought from Chichester Harbour Conservancy, The Friends of Chichester Harbour, Hampshire County Council, The Solent Protection Society and the Cooperative Community Fund.

A number of local groups also contributed, including Emsworth Residents’ Association, Brook Meadow Conservation Group, Emsworth Horticultural Society and the local tree wardens.

And several local individuals gave money.

The shore bank was built by the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership, a group of local authorities, including Havant, working together to improve sea defences.

Lyall Cairns, coastal defence partnership manager, said: ‘We were pleased to be able to pioneer this approach and believe it is a formula that can be copied elsewhere.’

The Friends are now aiming to raise another £15,000 to improve the defences further by cladding the bank in honeycomb blocks.

Any donations are welcomed by emailing or calling (01243) 377404.