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  • Widewater Lagoon (LNR)   (TQ 196 041)

 | Habitat | Lancing nature notes  | Lagoon image gallery

 Cloudy weather on Widewater Widewater has special (SNCI) status as a unique Saline Lagoon.
It is one of the areas of Sussex that is the subject of an Action Plan by the Sussex Biodiversity Partnership.
A downloadable PDF file is available via the action plan link giving full details of saline lagoons in the UK
The brackish lagoon was formed in about 1840 when an embankment  was constructed from ground on the south side the coast road. The shingle bank on the right was formed by longshore drift, it extended across the mouth of the river Adur and formed the present harbour.
A breach through the bank is now the harbour entrance.
[see map] [aerial photo]

The Lagoon one September showery day in 2001

The aquatic life of Widewater lagoon is covered in more detail on
Andy Horton's Widewater Lagoon pages
Memories of Widewater

Most of the northern embankment has been developed, as seen here, but there are small pockets of land where clumps of Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and Hawthorn (Crategus monogyna) have established.
The ground cover in these gaps consists of a mix of plants and grasses including Nettles, Cow Parsley and Goosegrass (Galium aparine).
The southern, shore side embankment is grassy with clumps of wind-stunted shrubs such as Elm and Hawthorn.
Teasel, Coltsfoot, Burdock, Smooth Hawk's Beard, Prickly Oxtongue, Sea Mayweed, Pineapple Mayweed, Common Fleabane are among the many herbaceous plants growing in the well-drained, exposed conditions.
Painted Lady Incoming Autumn Migrating  Painted Ladies (Vanessa cardui) apreciate the clumps of Fleabane as a their first meal on British soil
Clouded Yellow Butterfly In August 2000 a large influx of Clouded Yellow butterflies (Colias croceus) appeared in Shoreham and Lancing. Many of them were sighted on the  vegetated area of the Laggon.
Similar sightings were reported over much of southern England.

ęcopyright RayHamblett 2006
Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying is prohibited.