Dolphin Quay Footpath
Extent of land (marked in green): In loose terms to the South the parcel abuts the slipway flanking the main garden of Wharf House. The West boundary follows the hedge line as far as No 29 Queen Street, and the gate is the North boundary.
In 2020 we were very fortunate to be gifted the land including Dolphin Quay Footpath. This was donated by the late Brian Jeays Wardle and Patricia Wardle, facilitated by their daughters Alex and Sally.
For many years Mr and Mrs Wardle, keen Pond supporters, lived in Wharf House in King Street and when the opportunity arose they bought a parcel of land on the West side of Dolphin Creek to ensure that it was not developed. After they passed away, their two daughters wanted to ensure that the strip of land and its footpath remain as 'public' open spaces for the use of everyone, in memory of their parents.
Their solicitor suggested the best mechanism was to gift it to a suitable charity and the idea of the SMPPA came up as we have already successfully looked after land and the public footpath on the Pond's west bank for many years. As well as the gift of land, they assigned to us the lease with Dolphin Quay Boatyard, allowing berthholders access to their boat moorings on the west bank of Dolphin Creek.
Our intention is to leave the area as a peaceful rural backwater footpath of ecological interest, and for it not to be landscaped or cultivated. The Deed of Gift specifically includes certain covenants such as "not to use or deposit any chemicals, weedkillers, oils, industrial waste or hazardous substances" and "not to construct or erect any building or structure of permanent or temporary nature, nor to place any road or access way other than the existing footpath". These covenants align with our vision, mission and values ie “to protect and conserve the wildlife and natural environment for the benefit and quiet enjoyment of the public”.
Chichester Harbour Conservancy are responsible for any maintenance to the footpath itself, and are obliged to keep it accessible to users. They have recently resurfaced parts of the footpath. The boatyard owners strim the grass solely to allow safe access to the moorings.
There is a wealth of wildlife to be found in this small backwater. Recent bird sightings include 2 kestrels, an egret and a heron, all in a short space of time. It is also a favourite spot for Kingfishers.
Nick Madinaveitia, Chairman of the SMPPA, and Alex Wardle in the garden of Wharf House - Summer 2020