Carrying on the theme of my Nature Trails, I am again down at Selsey for this week’s walk along the seashore, this time showing just one of the several MWH has developed around the town and the peninsula for tourists to enjoy.
Copies of these different walks have been published on separate leaflets with maps and directions, information and pictures, which are available on request from the tourist office, town council, or the RSPB Sidlesham Centre.
Just to give you an idea of how good the maps are, I have used one here on this page. This walk is called the Seaside Stroll and starts at the car park at East Beach Pond near the east shoreline, about one mile up the shore from the tip of the Bill, and runs for two miles.
There are 18 stopping points with associated information en route. Cross the car park over the grass to the sea, passing black mulberry trees and a wooden bench and plaque. Turn left past toilets, café and fish shops to sea wall. Turn right, passing fishermens’ tarred huts, giving a link to the days when Oliver Cromwell was supplied with cockles by the Earl of Southampton. Flowers of teasel, wild carrot and vetch growing here are remnants of Selsey Common, which dates back to Anglo Saxon common grazing.
There is also rare shingle flora along the shore, and then the Pleistocene fossil beds where the crocs and hippos lived once upon a time.
At the southern end of the walk was the site of the Hawkhurst family gibbet. Behind the wall is where you may see the birdwatchers with their telescopes, logging ocean birds.
Here is a place to find ‘mermaids’ purses or skate egg cases washed up.
Good views of the Isle of Wight can be enjoyed before you turn northwest up Seal Road, passing the plaque to air ace Teddy Donaldson at Bill House.
Grafton Road takes you onwards to Grove Road where turn right down footpath. Follow footpath sign to a second road that takes you down a twitten. Path to left takes you to Sunnymeads Drive at the Roman well site discovered in 1962.
Turn right along Fishermen’s Walk. An alternative is to return to the sea shore at the Lifeboat public house.
Actually my favourite walk is to simply return back up the shore line again, as I find the punchy little waves of the Channel most invigorating quite apart from that continuous flow of ocean birds flying north in spring or south in autumn.