The history of Pagham Nature Reserve

When you first picture Bognor Regis, you might imagine the gorgeous stretches of coastline and the stunning ocean views, often reminiscent of the Caribbean on a warm sunny day.

But if beautiful natural surroundings are what you love, then you might be pleased to discover that there’s so much more to love about Bognor Regis than just the great beaches.

Pagham Nature Reserve is not only an internationally important site for nature conservation, one which features all kinds of rare plant and animal habitats, but it’s also a place for people of all ages to enjoy.

The historic area stretches over 1500 acres – half of which is salt marsh and mudflats – while the rest is made up of farmland, copses, lagoons, reed beds and shingle beaches.

The miles of winding trails come with stunning views of nature and wondrous wildlife to discover and it offers something special not only for the avid nature fan.

Anyone looking for peace and tranquility, the chance for fresh air and exercise, a place to escape, or just somewhere beautiful to look at with loved ones will discover the bespoke kind of inspiration that can only be found here.

Improved facilities are also in the process of being installed at the Pagham Nature Reserve, thanks to grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Sussex Ornithological Society and Friends of Pagham Harbour.

They include a new wildlife-watching hide, improved disability access, better trails at Sidlesham Ferry and a major uplift to the Discovery Zone – with a new activity shelter and large pond where visitors can discover wildlife close-up.

The biggest pull here is the bird-watching opportunities as Pagham Nature Reserve provides a home for all kinds of species of feathered friend. You’ll find waders and wildfowl in the autumn and winter, while Brent Geese arrive in large numbers between September and January and during the summer months migrants include wheatears, sandwich terns, sand martins and chiffchaffs. So there’s absolutely no reason not to don your binoculars and come check out the beauty of the many birds that arrive here to roost.

Pagham is also a place steeped in vast history and heritage as it is widely known that people lived here at least three-and-a-half thousand years ago, as seen by excavated Bronze Age artefacts.

The Romans came through Pagham in 46 AD, and during Roman times Pagham Harbour was a primary seaport for Southern England. Saxons were in the area from the 5th century and a church in Pagham is first mentioned in the Domesday Book.

If you’re looking for things to do in Bognor Regis and have a love of the great outdoors, then you absolutely must check out the Pagham Nature Reserve. It’s a truly stunning way for the family to spend the day.

Photo Credit: Darren Collyer

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