RICHARD WILLIAMSON: Chichester Canal to Chichester Channel

This is a 7.4-mile (12km) walk to enjoy our city canal and the sea it runs into.

Parking is off-road at Hunston on the B2145 at SU865023.

Here the canal runs northwest to the city and you cross to the west towpath over a footbridge.

This is the place where Turner painted the canal and the cathedral spire ahead.

He even got a moorhen into the picture which you might also see.

Bream, carp, pike, tench, roach and rudd are said to live in the water. Bankside flora includes water dock, yellow iris, coltsfoot, white deadnettle, yarrow, mallow, cow parsley and burdock.

Under the bypass, beyond the old swing bridge will bring you to the basin where there is a museum all about this 1822 canal and its history, also a tea room and a chance to see the lovely old boats which can take you for a trip back down to your car if you suddenly feel you have had enough of this walk.

Otherwise, cross the main road into the industrial site past the traffic lights and after 600 yards turn right on footpath sign, cross the main railway line by footbridge, and then follow the pavement along the city inner ring road to a mini roundabout. Follow footpath north to a crossroads. Turn left and follow the road for 500 yards and pass under the bypass bridge. Then a footpath sign directs you south passing Fishbourne church and onwards to the seawall down to Dell Quay.

The mudflats are home for the six months of winter for 100 redshank, 100 curlew, 60 black-tailed godwit, 50 lapwing, up to 700 brent geese, 350 wigeon, 30 teal, 20 gadwall, 10 pintail, 50 mallard, 5 great crested grebe, two little grebe, up to 120 mute swans, two kingfishers and several little egrets depending on the weather.

You will only see the full complement at high tide, and then only until mid- March, This is not a full list of wetland birds in the channel. You may have noticed that most species in the plural do not carry the letter s, but this is the custom and who am I to argue?

Seawall plants include sea beet with its magenta leaves, one small colony of sea wormwood and a lot of sea rye grass with its glaucous leaves.

At Dell Quay there are boat yards and a pub, and a nice view across the waters to Old Park Wood. Now take the road east for 600 yards, then right along the footpath over the fields running south.

The fields were site of a World War Two temporary airfield. Its most famous airman was Hollywood film star Clark Gable, side gunner in a burning bomber that landed here in an emergency.

He stayed for a week and many girls claimed association although it is thought only three were probable.

You reach Salterns Copse which is a butterfly and woodland bird oasis. Then the footpath bears left, following the banks of the marina, soon bringing you back to the Chichester canal.

This is the New Lipschis Way footpath back to Hunston, running for a couple of miles along the tow path. You have to cross the busy main A286 road and so onto the opposite bank of the canal.

A very enjoyable walk altogether, you will agree.