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The two millponds to the east of the town are usually referrred to as the Hermitage Millponds. They are privately owned. Peter Pond is owned by the Kinloch family and is managed by David Gattrell. Slipper Millpond is owned by the Slipper Millpond Preservation Society who also manage its banks and sluices. The two eastern millponds have a more natural habitat than the town millpond, with reedbeds and bankside vegetation. They are connected through a culvert beneath the A259 road through Emsworth. The millponds are important habitats for a number of waterbirds. Both ponds were designated Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) in 1997. They are also immediately adjacent to Chichester Harbour, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Slipper Millpond (but not Peter Pond by some strange administrative quirk) is also inside the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Link to Peter Pond . . . Peter Pond


A view of Slipper Millpond looking north from the sluice gate

A view of the footpath to the west of Slipper Millpond looking north, with Dolphin Lake on the left

Both Hermitage ponds are tidal though the sluice gates at the southern end of Slipper Millpond hold the water when the tide falls. When the tide is very high the ponds and surrounding areas can be flooded. The path on the west side of Slipper Millpond is often flooded at high tide, but it is rarely as bad as in the following photo.

Slipper Millpond flooded by exceptional tides in November 2005


The pond is attractive to birds throughout the year. Mute Swan, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen and Black-headed Gulls are always present. They are joined by Cormorant, Little Grebe and Little Egret in winter along with masses of other gulls, including Common Gull, Herring Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Great Black-backed Gull. Also, occasionally present in winter are Canada Geese, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck and Red-breasted Merganser, while Kingfisher is often seen flying low over the pond.

In summer Reed Warblers sing from the reedbeds on the east side and Common and Sandwich Terns fish in pond. The main breeding birds are Coot which nest on the three floating rafts and sometimes produce more than one brood. Mallard probably nest somewhere around the edges of the pond and families of ducklings are a common sight in summer. Visiting pairs of Mute Swans ocasionally build a nest on the side of the pond, but they are rarely successful, due mainly to the nests being washed away by the high tides. The resident pair of Mute Swans regularly nest on Peter Pond and patrol Slipper Millpond to see off any intruders. Moorhen nest in Dolphin Lake.

Mute Swan nest flooded by the high tide and the eggs lost

A pair of Great Black-backed Gulls nested, probably for the first time ever in Emsworth, on the centre raft on Slipper Millpond in 2012. It was a fascinating experience to watch the progress of these magnificent birds, through nest building, laying, sitting, hatching, tending to the young and finally fledging. It did not all go smoothly and they had some hard times as the weather was awful. However, they came through it all and good luck to them.
The full story of the nesting with photos is on a special page at . . .
Great Black-backed Gull nesting

Coot are the only regular nesting birds on Slipper Millpond. Three pairs usually build their nests in the nest boxes provided on on each of the rafts. They often have more than one brood, with the offpring of earlier broods helping with the the later ones. The first photo shows an exceptionally large brood of six chicks on the nesting raft.

Parent Coot are very attentive to their young and keep them well fed. Though they can also be rather harsh and give them a good spanking at times.

Here are Coot chicks hiding away from enemies in the reeds

Here is a pair of Coot engaged in a feeding ritual in which one passes food to the other

Sometimes Coot get into a dispute, usually over ralationships


Cormorants are common on the pond in winter. They can often be seen fishing.
This one with a grey head caught an Eel and finally swallowed it after several minutes of thrashing around.

Common Sandpiper is an infrequent visitor to the pond usually in spring

Terns regularly dive for fish in the pond in summer, but this juvenile was a one-off

Mute Swans

The resident male Mute Swan of the pair that nest on Peter Pond vigorously defends Slipper Millpond from intruders. These photos were taken in March 2013 when the male of the resident pair was relentlessly pursuing what I assume was the male of an intruding Mute Swan pair. The resident male shwon here chased the intruder with the standard threatening posture of wings raised and head down.

This chase never got really violent, though there were several skirmishes.

A second pair of Mute Swans have nested on Slipper Millpond in previous years, though never successfully. We shall see what happens this year.

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull is an occasional winter visitor to the millpond. This one below is an adult in breeding plumage. Note its bright yellow legs and feet, which clearly distinguishes it from the larger Great Black-backed Gull which has pink legs and feet. The very dark back of this bird suggests it is of the Danish race intermedius which breeds in SW Scandinavia. The birds of the British race graellsii has slate grey upper parts. Both races winter in Western Europe and south to West Africa, so can be seen in this area.

Little Egret

Little Egrets are fairly common on the rafts on the millpond. they particularly like fishing in Dolphin Lake which is adjacent to Slipper Millpond. This one in march 2013 had fine breeding plumes which were much sought after for the costume trade in the 19th Century and which almost led to the extinction of this fine bird.


Little Grebe

Regular winter visitors: up to 4

Great Crested Grebe

Occasional winter visitor


Regular winter visitors: up to 13

Great Northern Diver

Rare - Brendan Gibb-Gray 02.04.06

Little Egret

Regular: up to 2

Grey Heron

Occasional throughout the year

Mute Swan

Regular. Pairs occasionally nest

Canada Goose

Occasional visitors.

Emperor Goose


Bar-headed Goose


Barnacle Goose

Rare. Brendan Gibb-Gray 01.08.08

Greylag Goose

Rare. Brendan Gibb-Gray 27.04.06








Regular - up to 50. Occasionally nesting.



Tufted Duck

Occasional winter visitors


Rare winter visitor

Red-breasted Merganser

Occasional winter visitors


Rare winter visitor


Regular all year. Nest Dolphin Lake


Regular: Up to 90 in winter. 3 pairs nest


Rare - at low water

Black-headed Gull

All year. Up to 2,000 winter

Common Gull

Regular in winter - up to 50.

Herring Gull

Regular in winter - up to 50

Mediterranean Gull

Occasional in winter

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Regular in winter

Great Black-backed Gull

Regular in winter. Nested April 2012



Common Tern

Regular summer visitor

Sandwich Tern

Occasional summer visitor


Rare - at low water

Common Sandpiper



Regular over pond in winter


Regular in summer

Grey Wagtail


Pied Wagtail

Occasional around the pond

Sedge Warbler


Reed Warbler

Regular summer visitor


The coral-like calcareous aggregates produced by Tube Worms are very prominent when the sluice gates are opened to let the water out to do repair work.

These casts are produced by the Bristle Worm (Ficopomatus enigmaticus), which plays a very significant role in the pond's eco-system. The aggregated tubes of the Bristle Worm provide not only an additional habitat for other organisms but their presence is beneficial for the ponds as a whole.

Tube-worm casts close up.


Large shoals of Grey Mullett can also be seen in the pond, basking in the shallow water

Plant Records for SU70M - Slipper Millpond - July 2006

From Rod Stern - Sussex Botanical Recording Society

Annual Meadow Grass

Poa annua

Annual Pearlwort

Sagina apetala ssp. erecta

Annual Sea Blite

Suaeda maritima

Barren Brome

Anisantha sterilis

Black Horehound

Ballota nigra

Black Medick

Medicago lupulina

Black Mustard

Brassica nigra

Black Spleenwort

Asplenium adiantum-nigrum


Rubus fruticosus agg.

Bristly Oxtongue

Picris echioides

Broad-leaved Dock

Rumex obtusifolius

Buckshorn Plantain

Plantago coronopus

Butterfly Bush

Buddleja davidii


Galium aparine

Clustered Dock

Rumex conglomeratus


Dactylis glomerata


Aquilegia vulgaris

Common Birdsfoot Trefoil

Lotus corniculatus

Common Brome

Bromus hordaeceus

Common Chickweed

Stellaria media

Common Comfrey

Symphytum officinale

Common Fleabane

Pulicaria dysenterica

Common Mallow

Malva sylvestris

Common Nettle

Urtica dioica

Common Ragwort

Senecio jacobaea

Common Reed

Phragmites australis

Creeping Buttercup

Ranunculus repens

Creeping Cinquefoil

Potentilla reptans

Creeping Thistle

Cirsium arvense

Curled Dock

Rumex crispus

Cut-leaved Cranesbill

Geranium dissectum


Taraxacum agg.

Dove's-foot Cranesbill

Geranium molle

Druce's Cranesbill

Geranium x oxonianum


Sambucus nigra

Equal-leaved Knotgrass

Polygonum arenastrum

False Oat Grass

Arrhenatherum elatius


Foeniculum vulgare


Tanacetum parthenium

Field Bindweed

Convolvulus arvensis


Lycopus europaeus

Goat Willow

Salix caprea

Golden samphire

Inula crithmoides


Ulex europaeus

Grass-leaved Orache

Atriplex littoralis

Greater Celandine

Chelidonium majus

Greater Plantain

Plantago major

Greater Sea Spurrey

Spergularia media

Grey Sedge

Carex divulsa

Ground Elder

Aegopodium podagaria


Senecio vulgaris

Hard Grass

Parapholis strigosa

Hartstongue Fern

Phyllitis scolopendrium


Crataegus monogyna

Hedge Bindweed

Calystegia sepium

Hedge Mustard

Sisymbrium officinale

Hedge Woundwort

Stachys sylvatica


Conium maculatum

Hemlock Water Dropwort

Oenanthe crocata

Hemp Agrimony

Eupatorium cannabinum

Herb Robert

Geranium robertianum

Hoary Willowherb

Epilobium parviflorum


Heracleum sphondylium


Armoracia rusticana


Hedera helix

Japanese Rose

Rosa rugosa

Keeled-fruited Cornsalad

Valerianella carinata


Polygonum aviculare

Large Bindweed

Calystegia silvatica

Lesser Swinecress

Coronopus didymus


Syringa vulgaris

Mexican Fleabane

Erigeron karvinskianus


Artemisia vulgaris


Lapsana communis

Opium Poppy

Papaver somniferum


Parietaria judaica

Perennial Rye Grass

Lolium perenne

Perennial Sow-thistle

Sonchus arvensis

Perforate St. John's-wort

Hypericum perforatum

Petty Spurge

Euphorbia peplus


Matricaria discoidea

Prickly Lettuce

Lactuca serriola

Procumbent Pearlwort

Sagina procumbens

Purple Toadflax

Linaria purpurea

Red Bartsia

Odontites verna

Red Clover

Trifolium pratense

Red Deadnettle

Lamium purpureum

Red Fescue

Festuca rubra

Red Valerian

Centranthus ruber


Persicaria maculosa

Ribwort Plantain

Plantago lanceolata

Rosebay Willowherb

Chamerion angustifolium

Scarlet Pimpernel

Anagallis arvensis

Scentless Mayweed

Tripleurospermum ssp.inodorum

Sea Beet

Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima

Sea Carrot

Daucus carota ssp. gummifer

Sea Club-rush

Bolboschoenus maritimus

Sea Couch

Elytrigia atherica

Sea Plantain

Plantago maritima

Sea Purslane

Atriplex portulacoides


Hippophae rhamnoides


Capsella bursa-pastoris


Potentilla anserina

Smooth Hawk's-beard

Crepis capillaris

Smooth Sow-thistle

Sonchus oleraceus

Spear Thistle

Cirsium vulgare

Spear-leaved Orache

Atriplex prostrata

Square-stalked Willowherb

Epilobium tetragonum

Stone Parsley

Sison amomum


Coronopus squamatus


Acer pseudoplatanus


Dipsacus fullonum


Phleum pratense


Lavatera arborea

Wall Barley

Hordeum murinum

Wall Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster horizontalis

Wall Rue

Asplenium ruta-muraria

Wall Speedwell

Veronica arvensis

Water Bent

Polypogon viridis

White Bryony

Bryonia dioica

White Clover

Trifolium repens

White Stonecrop

Sedum album

Wild Onion

Allium vinale

Wilson's Honeysuckle

Lonicera nitida

Wood Avens

Geum urbanum

Wood Dock

Rumex sanguineus


Achillea millefolium


Holcus lanatus


by Tony Wilkinson

Slipper Mill and its tidal pond (ie Slipper Millpond) were built in 1760 by Thomas Handy, a miller and merchant. Soil removed from the pond was used to enlarge Hendy's Quay along the west bank of the River Ems. By 1805 the pond had been extended north of Hermitage Bridge forming today's Peter Pond. By the middle of the 19th Century Slipper Mill was part of a complex of four working mills in Emsworth. The others were:

Quay Mill at the bottom of South Street was also tide driven and is now home to The Emsworth Slipper Sailing Club.

The Old Flour Mill at the bottom of Queen Street which was powered by the River Ems. It burned down in 1894 but was restored and is now a preserved building.

Lumley Mill was also powered by the River Ems and was also burned down in 1915, but was never rebuilt. The mill house is now called Lumley Mill.

New Slipper Mill was built by "Boney" Hatch in 1867 to be driven by a tidal pond, known as "Big Bunny", which is now the Emsworth Marina. The mill race, located by the floodgates in the gap of the marina's north wall, never worked effectively so a chimney for a steam engine was added but the mill burned down in 1886 before it had become operational. It was not re-built. The tidal pond of the ill-fated New Slipper Mill was used for seasoning timber for Foster's Yard until the pond was dredged and the chimney removed during construction of the marina in the 1960s.

History of Slipper Mill and Slipper Millpond

By the late 19th Century the area north of what today remains of Hendy's Quay, now occupied by the Kings Quay housing estate, was the site of a sawmill, boatyard and slipway; this is where J.Dunnock Foster built his famous Emsworth Oyster fishing fleet.

In the early 20th century Slipper Mill was owned by James Thomas of Newport, Isle of Wight. It produced wheat flour as well as cattle cake, barley meal, maize flour and fertiliser for local farmers. The tide gates are still working after nearly a quarter of a millennium. The miller's house, which was alongside the mill above the race and water wheel, was demolished after being damaged by a storm and very high tide in 1912. At about the same time a brick store replaced the wooden granary. (see picture on the pond information board).

After the First World War (1914-18) Leigh Thomas took over from his father both Slipper Mill and the Old Flour Mill in Queen Street. Slipper Mill continued to be tide-driven until the outbreak of World War Two when electrical power from the National Grid was introduced. While wheat flour production had long since ceased at both mills, production and storage of animal feeds continued until the mid-1960s when the Slipper Mill was demolished and by 1969 the brick store had been converted into houses. The Old Flour Mill in Queen Street closed in 1970 and has been converted into offices and workshops.

In 1980 a group of 33 public-spirited local residents dubbed together to buy Slipper Millpond to prevent its failing into the hands of developers. It is now leased to the Slipper Mill Pond Preservation Association.


Tony Wilkinson July 2004

The Slipper Mill and its tidal mill pond were built in the 1760s using spoil removed from the pond to enlarge Hendy's Quay along the west bank of the River Ems. By 1805 Slipper Mill Pond had been extended north of the crossing marked by Hermitage Bridge on the A259. This extension is now known as Peter Pond.

By the middle of the 19th Century the tide-driven Slipper Mill was part of a complex of four working mills in Emsworth. Quay Mill at the bottom of South Street in Emsworth was also tide-driven and is now home to the Emsworth Slipper Sailing Club. The Old Flour Mill in Queen Street just north of the Slipper Mill Pond and Lumley Mill on Lumley stream stretch of the River Ems north of Peter Pond both derived their power from the Ems. The former was burned down in 1894 but was restored and finally closed in 1972. The latter suffered the same fate in 1915 but was never rebuilt. In 1867 a fifth mill, New Slipper Mill, was built to be driven by a tidal pond which is now the Emsworth Yacht Harbour. The millrace, located by the gap in the marina's north wall, never worked effectively so a steam engine was planned but this refurbished mill was also destroyed by fire in 1886 before it became operational.

By the late 19th Century the area north of Hendy's Quay, now occupied by the Kings Quay housing estate, was the site of a sawmill, boatyard and slipway, where J.D. Foster built the famous Emsworth Oyster fishing fleet. The Echo, pride of the Emsworth Oyster smacks, was moored off Hendy's Quay until the 1950s. The tidal pond of the ill-fated New Slipper Mill was used for seasoning timber for Foster's Yard until the pond was dredged and the chimney removed during the construction of the marina in the 1960s.

The area surrounding the two ponds contains several buildings associated with this heritage including the former Slipper Mill store, the former mill in Queen Street and Lumley Mill House on the River Ems. In particular the Slipper Mill Pond is not only immediately adjacent to the Emsworth Conservation Area but also lies within the Chichester Harbour AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). See Map - Appendix One. The 1960s/1970s Kings Quay housing estate on the eastern edge of the Emsworth Conservation Area overlooking the pond is a large and inappropriate intrusion into this traditional setting.


Extracted from a report by Tony Wilkinson July 2004

Peter Pond and the Slipper Mill Pond are man-made brackish water coastal lagoons of greatly varying salinity, fed with fresh water from the River Ems and sea water which automatically opens the tide gates when seaward pressure exceeds that on the pond side. Such coastal saline lagoons are rare and specialised habitats, important at a UK level and listed as a priority habitat on Annex 1 of the European Union Habitats Directive. Both ponds were designated Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) in 1997. Such recognition indicates the vital contribution made to the biodiversity of this "significant local gap" by the two ponds along with Brook Meadow which is also a SINC (Site of Importance for Nature Conservation) in Hampshire. The Chichester Harbour Conservancy Biodiversity Action Plan identifies the need to "target… plans to designate Emsworth Slipper Mill Pond/Peter Pond as SSSI….and thence in the Solent lagoons pSAC if possible." Biodiversity Action Plans (BAP) play a crucial role along with the planning process in protecting and promoting biodiversity.

Stretches along the verges of both ponds are characterised by patches of two types of reeds. These are the Common Reed (Phragmites australis), which is mainly a fresh water plant but tolerant of sea water and Sea Club-rush (Scirpus maritimus), which is essentially a saline friendly plant but also tolerates some fresh water (See Appendix One - Map). Sea couch grass grows along the outer edges of the footpath and helps reduce erosion of the bank by rain and sea water.

Plants which are physically prominent on the eastern bank of Slipper Mill Pond include a Weeping Willow, two Buddleias and a Buddleia globosa, several Tree Mallows, a Holly bush and a Strawberry Tree (of the Arbutus family and unusual for this location). The eastern bank of Slipper Mill Pond, which was recovered from the original beach, also supports a considerable variety of other plants. In May 2004 Brian Fellows and Ralph Hollins identified Pellitory-of-the-wall in flower and growing in several places on the south-facing wall of Hermitage Bridge.

Water moss (Fontinalis antipyretica) and duckweed (Lemna sp.), both of which are freshwater plants, were identified by Dr. Thorp in his study of the two ponds' sediment inhabiting fauna from core samples taken at Sites 1 and 2 on Peter Pond in March 1998. A more recent study produced in January 2002 and conducted during a period of low salinity by The Biogeography and Ecology Research Group of Brighton University for English Nature noted the "frequent" abundance of the following potentially invasive species of algae (Spirogyra, Enteromorpha, Derbesa, Chaetomorpha and Cladophora).

Flora from the sea may also affect the ecological balance of the ponds. As Dr. Thorp has noted, "at the end of July 1997, the floor of Slipper Mill Pond became very thickly carpeted with a very luxuriant growth of Ulva lactuca (Sea Lettuce), possibly facilitated by prolonged high salinities through most of the summer. A heavy growth of Ulva persisted in the pond until October. Coincident with the appearance of the Ulva, the phytoplankton level within the pond fell dramatically and did not recover, possibly due to nutrient depletion of the pond water by the Ulva. Thus it is possible that, with the phytoplankton being at the bottom of the food chain, there was reduced 'food source' available for many invertebrates to build up necessary 'reserves' with which to overwinter."

Apart from limited areas of muddy shingle, the floor of both ponds is comprised mainly of both shallow and deep soft mud that offers little stability for attaching organisms. In normal circumstances the characteristic plant growth within the ponds consists of prodigious numbers of minute single-celled plants (diatoms) that turn the water brown in Spring and Summer. The muddy bottom sediments of both ponds have provided a "dynamic if unstable" environment for invertebrates. Some 30 species have been identified in ongoing monitoring by Dr. Thorp since 1983 and in a number of other studies (See details in Appendix Three).

Some of these invertebrates come from the sea and some from the river but the most interesting are specialists confined to brackish water. Of the latter group three are of particular note. The Starlet Sea Anenome (Nematostella vectensis) and the Tentacled Lagoon Worm (Alkmaria romijni) are very rare species protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and listed as endangered species in the IUCN Red Data Book. The former is also the subject of a national pSAP. As Dr. Thorp and others have observed that a third species, the Bristle Worm (Ficopomatus enigmaticus), seems to play a very significant role in the economy of the ponds' eco-system.

The aggregated tubes of the Bristle Worm provide not only an additional habitat for other organisms but their presence is beneficial for the ponds as a whole. Dr. Thorp has noted that when it is prolific, other species become more abundant. Conversely when less abundant so are other organisms. The Bristle Worm plays an important role in the food chain for both fish and birds and the presence or otherwise of cormorants can be a visible indication of fish stocks. The cormorant is therefore the Slipper Mill Pond logo.

Dr. Thorp has pointed out the damage which unnecessary, ill-timed or prolonged drainage of the ponds can cause to the invertebrate species, especially at times of inappropriate low (Winter) and high (Summer) air temperatures and over the Spring breeding season. He states:

"With the advent of Spring there is, however, a much greater concern for the 'health' of the Mill Pond. It is a well-documented fact that by far the majority of temperate-water invertebrates are spring breeders. To breed successfully the organisms will need to have sufficient food (energy) reserves to fuel the very energy consuming-process of producing eggs and sperm. Of even greater importance, however, is the requirement for the 'environment' to attain species specific minimum temperature levels…it has been demonstrated in the literature that many invertebrates not only require specific minimum temperatures to be reached and maintained, but also will not spawn eggs/larvae into the overlying waters until there is adequate, suitable food for their offspring in the form of "plants"; the single-celled algae which form the phytoplankton. This has a "knock-on" effect. No phytoplankton - no spawning of many herbivorous species. No herbivorous species in the zooplankton - no spawning of the carnivorous species and so on to food for resident fish populations, etc."

Fish species include Salmon, Brown Trout (and occasional Rainbow), Sea bass, Sea bream, Roach, Flatfish and Sticklebacks. The Slipper Mill Pond in particular also provides a nursery area for fish such as Flounder, Mullet, Sand Smelt, Goby and Eels. There are also some shrimps and prawns. Drainage of the ponds, or fishing in the ponds or river during the Spring breeding season can also adversely affect fish stocks. Fixed net fishing in the pond is also occasionally a problem and contravenes Chichester Harbour byelaws as it does in Dolphin Creek and the Slipper Basin area (See paragraph 49 below).

The reed-lined edges of both ponds, in particular Peter Pond, attract Dragon Flies and Damsel Flies. Of the former the Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) is quite often present on both ponds. Of the latter, most commonly seen is the Banded Demoiselle (Pyrrhosoma nymphula).

Both ponds support a wide range of resident, breeding, wintering and passage migrant birds. Breeding birds include the Mute Swan, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Reed and Sedge Warblers (see Appendix Four) prepared by Brian Fellows . Other occasional visitors to the ponds include the Reed Bunting, Common Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Smew and Kestrel.

While Emsworth's western Mill Pond by Bath Road attracts large numbers and varieties of birds it provides conditions less favourable for breeding birds (although a pair of Mute Swans did succeed in raising cygnets in 2003) or the range of invertebrates found in Emsworth's other two ponds. This is because the Emsworth Mill Pond has to be drained regularly and also serves as a venue for model boating and the training of young sailors from Emsworth's two Sailing Clubs located adjacent to the pond. This makes Peter Pond and Slipper Mill Pond all the more significant as breeding locations.

A pair of swans breeds regularly on the Peter Pond and the male swan normally defends a wider territory including the Slipper Mill Pond. Local swan watchers believe that the female found a new mate two years ago. This seems likely as the cob had for the first time failed to defend his territory effectively. This was demonstrated by the fact that very exceptionally four other pairs of swans were able to build nests on Slipper Mill Pond although none of these succeeded in hatching any cygnets. Swans and ducks are at risk from traffic on Hermitage Bridge and some have also required veterinary treatment after swallowing fishing lines with hooks and sinkers attached. The presence and activity of swans may not be significant in terms of biodiversity in an area where mute swans are plentiful but the breeding pair on Peter Pond provide a good deal of pleasure to local people. The importance of this aspect was recognised in the draft Chichester District LBAP that stressed the importance of "reflecting the values of local people."

The River Ems, Brook Meadow, Peter Pond and Slipper Mill Pond provide a valuable wildlife corridor to the sea playing a crucial role in promoting the biodiversity of the area ranging from salmon, which have been found as far up river as Westbourne to the Kingfisher, which can be seen flying from Westbourne along the river and ponds to fish in the sea. Roe deer and foxes are sometimes seen along this linear habitat. Water shrews have also been seen by Lumley stream north of Peter Pond. Of particular note are the three BAP species in Brook Meadow (the Water Vole and the Pipistrelle and Serotine Bats) and the protected invertebrates in both ponds.

A number of the conservation risks - for example from drainage of the pond, or from anti-social behaviour, including the stoning of birds, damage to nest boxes and interference with the tide gates, are covered under "Management" below.