Pagham Harbour was designated within the first tranche of MCZ sites in November 2013. It is a small inshore site measuring 3 km sq, located between Bognor Regis and Chichester in West Sussex. This naturally occurring harbour is a tidal inlet which is fronted by two dynamic shingle spits.
The harbour is renowned for its rich wildlife. The MCZ site offers specific protection to two different species and one habitat type. The environment within Ferry Pool lagoon supports the rare lagoon sand shrimp. Defolin’s lagoon snail is another rare species protected by this site, with colonies only known to occur in three locations in the UK. Both of these features lie above the mean high water mark and are therefore outside of Sussex IFCA’s management remit.
Seagrass beds, made up of grass-like flowering plants, occur within the harbour itself. These provide an important food source for overwintering wildfowl and contain nutrients which support a range of animal communities. They also act as a nursery ground for juvenile fish and provide shelter for a wider range of species.
Pagham Harbour is also a Special Protection Area (SPA). The site protects the habitats of the internationally important populations of Annex I and migratory bird species which occur, in order to ensure their survival and reproduction within the European Union. Species listed on Annex I are in danger of extinction, rare or vulnerable. Pagham is a very good area for breeding terns which are generally greatly declining. As well as protecting their supporting habitats, significant disturbance must also be avoided to help protect these important bird populations.
Click on the link below to view Defra's site information, including MCZ factsheet and designation order with site boundary coordinates.
Management proposals for both the MCZ and SPA protected features have been formulated by the Authority, with close liaison with partner organisations. These have now been informally consulted on with the wider public. The next stage is to transpose management proposals into a draft Schedule within the MPA Byelaw and formally consult on this in spring 2017.