FLOW Trail Guide: Bracklesham and East Wittering

This area is dominated by urban and agricultural land, so the creation and management of wild areas here is particularly important.

Parking: Church Farm Lane, East Wittering, PO20 8RL

Public transport: Bus 52/53 stops in East Wittering

Approx. 2 miles. Walk north-east from [1] Hilton Park Pond, keeping the tennis court and fence on your left, following the road as it bends left and then take the [2] footpath leading straight on as the road bends right.

 

Follow the footpath between fields. At the first footpath fork, turn right, and ignore an upcoming footpath on your left. The [3] path bends to the left and then right again, before you emerge onto [4] Tile Barn Lane.

 

Keep walking straight ahead to view the managed [5] ditches and then retreat your steps to head back to Hilton Park Pond.

Hilton Park Pond

Hilton Park Pond was originally a dried -out rubbish tip, shaded by willow trees and overcrowded with brambles, yet it had huge potential for wildlife as it is connected to the surrounding arable fields by hedgerows.

 

The pond was dug deeper, enabling it to hold water year-round and several willow trees were cut back. Now that the sun shines on the banks there is a variety of wetland wildflowers, including purple loosestrife which forms tall, dense stands of bright purple flower spikes and is a great source of nectar for bumblebees and butterflies.

 

Dragonflies and bats feast on the variety of aquatic invertebrates that dwell in the pond. Look for long-tailed tits flitting between the trees.

Tile Barn Lane

In the past, Tile Barn Lane has suffered from severe flooding, and mature willow trees on the southern side were hiding a large relic ditch with potential to hold water.

 

FLOW volunteers cut back the willow trees and dug out the ditch. The banks were planted with wildflowers for pollinating insects and the existing hedgerow was re-enforced with native fruiting trees including hazel, spindle, blackthorn and cherry to feed birds and small mammals.

 

The ditch is now a vibrant and diverse wildlife corridor for amphibians, reptiles including the water-loving grass snake, and, in time, water voles.

Download the FLOW Trail Guide

This page is an extract from the Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands (FLOW) Trail Guide, which takes walkers on a tour of the ponds and wetland sites restored by the FLOW Project to benefit wildlife and mitigate flooding.

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