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.
The outside face of the bank gave concern and, 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 is managed by West Sussex County Council and not by the SMPPA - more information on the footpath page.
21 October 2004