Cycling, Walking, Biking and Birdwatching – take your pick!
- Want to cycle for miles and miles in the peaceful countryside?
- Want to explore the South Downs Way?
- Find the pleasures of expanses of sand on the nearby beaches?
- Need flatter walks or cycling routes that are suitable for younger children and families or those who have restricted access? eg The Salterns Way, Pagham Harbour.
We can offer you a base for all of these and more!
Watch the Spring & Autumn bird migrations from one of the best vantage points on the South Coast – Pagham Harbour, Chichester Harbour, Medmerry – and only 5 mins down the road!
NEW HARBOUR – OPENED in Autumn 2013 – The Medmerry Scheme – literally down the road! A huge site of wildlife and archeological significance, about to be partially flooded to create a new wildlife, coastal wetlands area. Horse, cycle, walking and disabled access pathways throughout!
More details from www.environment-agency.gov.uk/medmerry
Medmerry is between Pagham harbour (just over half a mile away) and Chichester Harbour – 3 miles away. WE are right between all these internationally famous wildlife habitats, all with SSSI and ANOB status!
Book your holiday now!
WALKING / HIKING / SOUTH DOWNS / CYCLING / RIDING / The Harbours
As well as the roomy house to use as a base for your expeditions, we have a lockable shed for your cycles, biking gear and helmets, walking boots and other paraphernalia too! It comes complete with a cycle repair kit and boot brushes too. Hose etc also available for bikers. Nature’s Elements has an outside boot store too.
We have OS maps and walking / cycling guides that can be borrowed to help your route planning. Some specifically for the younger members!
Chichester Harbour is a particularly spectacular local feature with sand, cobbles, muddy tracks, tamacadam cycle routes (for full acccessibility too), birdwatching hides, viewpoints and paths across open fields and through woods and the like. Or, you could take a trip on Wingate or the fantastic Solar Boat (both from Itchenor) and see the birds and scenery on the water. There are maps and directions for the Salterns Way walks around the Harbour in the House for your convenience. Many paths are wheelchair accessible and available for cyclists and walkers alike. You can hitch a ride across the harbour from Itchenor to Bosham Hoe and back on the ferry with or without your bicycles.
There are a number of pubs to stop off at for home-cooked food that you can visit along the route too! You can also use the Itchenor ferry to cross the Harbour from Itchenor to Bosham Hoe and back in the Summer (with or without cycles) or go on a Harbour Tours trip on Wingate (01243 670504) or the solar boat operated by the Harbour Conservancy (01243 512301).
Nearer still is the Pagham Harbour Reserve (Site of Special Scientific Interest), now a large RSPB Reserve, for birdwatching, walking, some cycling etc There is a great visitor centre and they run courses regularly for adults, kids (during the holidays) etc. More details from 01243 641508.
There aren’t many hills in the South – the South Downs are not very high, but they do have steep slopes to make your legs work more for those who want more of a challenge. For more challenging walks try around South Harting, The Trundle, Butser Hill etc.
If there are some people in the party who don’t want to join the activities, we can help and advise you about other things to do whilst waiting for their return! Lots more information in the House handbook.
Then…once your day is over relax with a glass and bask in the evening sun on a patio or in the hot tub and sauna!
Clear night skies and low ambient light levels from elsewhere make this property ideal for star-gazing. Do you know your plough from Orion’s belt or the North Star? The garden at Nature’s Elements is the best place to see the galaxies but both gardens will give you fabulous vistas of the skies.
Book NOW to reserve your holiday accommodation and start to prepare for your active holiday…then come home and unwind with a cup of tea then a glass of wine and a hearty meal.
Living Elements and Nature’s Elements are fortunate to be so close to many sites that have a World-wide reputation for keen birdwatchers. Page down for the Newsletter details from Chichester Harbour Conservancy..
Locally there are sea birds / waders and the like, especially at Pagham Harbour and Chichester Harbour with the marine wetlands and estuaries. You can go out on birdwatching walks and boat trips too. For the latest Harbour wildlife news –
We will also have the NEWLY designed and constructed Medmerry Marshes too – an area of wetland habitat brought about by a “mananged retreat of the land”. We are the nearest self catering house to the area and so with a short drive you can be in the best place to see all the new birdlife and enjoy its year round spectacle. So – why not make up a party of birders / twitchers / walkers and make the most of the whole area?
What Medmerry will look like at high and low water; with bridle, cycle, foot and disabled access paths all round the site. What_the_scheme_will_look_like_high_water What_the_Medmerry_scheme_will_look_like_low_water
The list includes:
- Common herons, Little Egret,
- sandpipers, green and red shanks, dunlin, avocets, whimbrel, oyster catchers, godwits, curlew, knots and stints, ruff, sanderling all in big flocks especially during the winter;
- various ducks – shelduck, Pintail, Common; Mallard, merganser, ruddy, mute swans,
- gulls and terns – Herring gull, black-headed gull, black-backed gull, Little gulls; Little Tern, Common Tern
- cormorants and shags
- Plovers (Various) and lapwings
- Geese – especially Brents in the winter and Canada Geese
- and other occasional visitors eg Osprey
Hunting birds – including buzzards that we see daily from the house, red kites, kestrel, sparrowhawk, tawny owl, little owl, all the crow family – carrion crows, crows, rooks, jackdaws, jays and magpies. You might also get a flying visit from the Peregrines who nest on Chichester Cathedral! See them on the eggs on the peregrine webcam.
The garden itself has many regular birds – blackbird, mistle thrush, robin, wren, swallows and house martins, house and hedge sparrows (Lots!), Great, blue and coal tits, starlings, pheasants, Green woodpecker regularly, wood pigeons and collared doves.
If you go to local woods you can hear cuckoos and spotted woodpeckers, more pheasants and partridges – English and French, and some local wild peacocks including an albino! (He took up residence in the field for a few weeks before some very cold weather set in in 2008. He liked admiring himself in the glass door reflection! I called him “Herbert” it seemed to suit him – he’s not very bright..)
On the Downs are more grassland birds eg larks, although they can easily be seen and heard at East Head too.
Huge migratory flocks of birds over-winter in the area – on the mudflats, local fields, and roost in local woods, plus we have the passing though trade – osprey, house martins, swallows, starlings etc at either end of the seasons. Important staging posts and gathering places are Selsey Bill just 3 miles away and all along the coast.
And – from your holiday cottage its right “on the doorstep” -so why not book your accomodation now and prepare for a birding treat!
Things to remember to bring: binoculars, wellies / walking boots, waterproofs, camera, tripods, OS maps, mobile phone, rucksack, hat, suntan cream, water, some snacks to munch…
|Birds are continuing to provide clues that Spring is rapidly approaching. Resident birds are starting preparations for nesting, others are returning from migration and often plumage starts to change at this time of year.Most of the resident garden birds like Blue and Great Tits, Robins and Wrensare busy looking for places to nest. Many of them will use nest boxes in gardens. If you are quick there is still a chance to put one up.Many birds are now changing into their summer breeding plumage. Black-tailed Godwits start to show some red colouration on their heads and neck and barring on their breast. Knot will live up to their international name Red Knot as they turn ruddy red, while Dunlin(left) will trade their rather dull uniform grey winter for a dashing black belly and brown wing feathers.Some birds such as Dunlin, Pintail and Brent Geese will start their return migrations this month and summer visitors will start to arrive.|
|I had a drive around the usual likely spots but failed to find any Brown Hares. They should be at their most visible now with the breeding season due to commence.
Water vole activity is stepping up with some sightings at Brook Meadow and ample signs of their presence at Fishbourne Meadows.
|Look out for butterflies including the Red Admiral and the vibrant, sulphur-yellow Brimstone, both of which are coming out of winter hibernation. The first ‘new’ butterflies of the year will be Orange Tips, which may start emerging towards the ends of the month. Moths flying include Pale-brindled Beauty and Dotted Border (left).|
Reptiles & Amphibians
|Amphibians have also come out of hibernation, and are migrating to breeding ponds and lakes. Watch out at night time on roads, particularly for toads, to avoid inadvertently running them over.|
Individuals of some species are already in full flower including Lesser Celandine and Early Dog Violet. Others such as Wild Garlic, Lords and Ladies and Bluebell are fully emerged but not yet flowering.
This is a great base for a biking / touring holiday. Not only do you have easy access to some fabulous touring and countryside –
- less than an hour to the New Forest or Brighton
- quick access from London for the start of your weekend (70 miles)
- on the doorstep countryside and lovely drives – round the South Downs, along coastal roads etc
The house is set up for safe parking of your bikes after a busy day out. Plus there are hoses and cleaning materials to wash them down afterwards as well and a lockable shed for your wet weather gear, boots and helmets etc
So… get on your bike and come and enjoy this glorious part of West Sussex.
© Gayle Palmer 2010-15