Infrastructure - West Bank
The West Wall, first built in the 1760s, forms the boundary between the Pond and Dolphin Creek. It is currently made of sandbags and gabions which were placed in the 1980s by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers when the earlier wall was in danger of collapse.
A radar survey in 2003 revealed that the core was in a fair state of repair but that the faces needed attention. Detailed inspection revealed that some of the sections of the sand-bagged inner face of the wall were being eroded by wave action in the pond, and that its footing was being washed out in places. The Volunteers set to and repaired it, with the financial assistance of the District and County Councils as well as Chichester Harbour Conservancy.
Since then, Volunteers have planted experimental sections of reeds against the bank to act as an organic protection to limit washout of the core of the bank.
Following a detailed investigation by Ove Arup & Partners consulting engineers, two sections were repaired by Messrs Conway (Contractors from Rowlands Castle) in 2011. It took several years for the SMPPA to raise grants from the Conservancy and more particularly from the EU Leader project as well as individual donations. The final cost was some £75,000 with only £5,000 being paid by them.
The bank is now in a serviceable condition albeit with some minor leaks and defects. The footpath itself (see below) is owned by West Sussex County Council and managed by Chichester Harbour Conservancy, and not by the SMPPA.
West Bank Footpath
21 October 2004
The footpath starts from the south of Slipper Road just to the north of Slipper Mill.
The south-east section has been widened and a kissing gate with emergency vehicle access installed alongside. The footpath follows the pond bank narrowing at the footbridge over the tidal gate structure, and continuing westwards until it meets Dolphin Creek where it turns north and follows the pond bank along the River Ems to the second set of kissing gates and Chequers Quay.
The path along the crest of the bank as far as Chequers Quay lies in West Sussex. It crosses the county boundary, entering Hampshire just before going through Chequers Quay Houses and on to Queen Street, Emsworth.
The surface of the footpath is owned by the County Council (who are responsible for its maintenance as well). Maintenance is carried out by Chichester Harbour Conservancy.
As part of the problems faced with the strengthening of the West Bank it was revealed that the bank was indeed the SMPPA's problem and that, whilst the County Boundary was generally in the middle of Dolphin Creek, and that it lay in West Sussex, the Borough of Havant were the administrators of the sea bed below High Water mark.
Copy of the Pond area of the WSCC footpath 203 (marked in purple)
The Rights of Way Section of West Sussex County Council has designated the bank of Slipper Mill Pond as Public Footpath No. 203. The section in Chequers Quay is Hampshire Footpath 701.