Southmoors Inundation

The picture below were taken a little before high tide on 1st February 2021.

 View from Mill Lane view south from Mill lane view from Mill lane toward breach The breachView inland from the breach

The first picture is from the end of Mill Lane Langstone looking west along the path to Southmoors Lane

The second picture is from the path a little further south

The top right picture is from the same place as the middle one looking south to the breach.

The last two pictures are of the water still flowing in at 14:15 about 40 minutes after a 4.58m  high tide; and the view inland from the breach.

 

Does it Matter?

A couple of years ago there was a plan to let the breach in the sea wall happen and to build a bund on the line of the footpath from Mill Lane to Southmoor Lane.  Many of us welcomed this because the plan had many benefits.  It would lead to the evolution of salt marsh habitat; the material for the bund would come from and create ponds in the Wildlife Trust's field to the west; and the bund would protect the orchid field to the north.

Sadly the funding for the work disappeared and the plan was dropped.

However the breach is now a matter of fact and it is interesting watching the consequences.  It will take some years but there will eventually be a significant new area of environmentally valuable habitat.  Salt marsh is scarce in Chichester, Langstone and Portsmouth Harbours.  There will be plants, room for birds to roost at high tide and  any number of mini-beasts.

We have lost the path along the sea wall, except at low tide, and the east-west path from Mill Lane is covered in the pictures above.  From the east I could not see the orchid field but it looked flooded as seen from the sea wall.  If it is only flooded at spring tides maybe the orchids and other Marsh flora may survive.  But the grazing that kept the vegetation under some control will be lost with a detrimental effect and had the bund been built might the orchid field have dried out?

Will the breach lead to flooding?  Environment Agency modelling when the bund plan was being put together said no.

Does it matter?  Yes and No but its happening so let's watch with interest..