FLOW Trail Guide: Hunston

Hunston is a small village situated just south of, and about half way along, Chichester Canal.

Parking: Car park at Poyntz Bridge, Hunston PO20 1NR

Public transport: Bus 51, stops outside the Spotted Cow pub

Approx 1.5 miles. Starting at [1] Church Lane Pond, continue down the lane towards [2] St Leodegar’s Church. Hunston has had a church since at least the 12th century, but the present one was rebuilt in 1885.

 

Walk to the end of a gravel driveway by Church Farm and take the [3] footpath left, along a track between fields.

 

After a third of a mile, [4] Hunston Copse, a clump of ancient woodland, will be on your left. You can walk around the edge of the woodland, or take the permissive footpath through it. Note ancient woodland indicator species such as butcher’s broom, bluebell and wood anemone.

 

When you reach the other side of the copse, continue south along its periphery and cross a footbridge then turn right. You eventually come out on the [5] B2145 road.

 

Turn left and walk 50m down the main road, then turn left along Church Lane to return to the pond.

Church Lane Pond

Church Lane in Hunston features an important ditch that carries water away from surrounding arable fields. However, this ditch was prone to unexplained severe flooding.

 

In 2017, the FLOW team began investigating the reasons behind why the lane was flooding, and they discovered this secretive pond. The pond was clogged with greater reedmace and its bed was full of silt, unable to hold more than just a shallow pool of water.

 

With the help of volunteers, the pond has been restored into a tranquil wetland habitat with a deeper bed to significantly reduced the flood risk. Coir rolls - large cylindrical rolls of natural coconut husk fibre - were integrated into the pond’s banks. Coir rolls prevent erosion and provide a fertile base for wetland plants to grow and stabilise their roots.

 

In summer, the banks are blooming with great willowherb, yellow flag iris, meadow buttercup and marsh woundwort. Look out for a small, chestnut brown bird of prey. Kestrels will rest on hedgerows and gateposts. They also frantically hover in the nearby fields, looking for small mammal prey.

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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