Interpretation Boards feature story

Goring Gap

Goring Gap is the southern part of one of the few coastal Strategic Gaps
in West Sussex and is unusual in that here farmland comes down to the sea.
This Grade 2 agricultural land is under constant threat from development and
requires ongoing vigilence to ensure its safe keeping.

Covering 180 acres (c 72 hectares) it provides important habitat for many
resident species of insects, birds and mammals. It also serves as a vital
roosting ground for wading birds deprived of their feeding grounds at high
tide. Furthermore it provides a resting and feeding area for migratory
birds in spring and autumn.

At least 160 bird species have been recorded on the gap over recent years. Just some of the species that you might see are listed below:

Residents
Collared dove

Greater spotted Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker
Grey Partridge
Herring Gull
Long-tailed Tit
Oyster Catcher
Ringed Plover
Skylark
Sparrow Hawk
Tawny Owl
Migrants
Blackcap
Chiffchaff
Firecrest
Hobby
Redstart
Spotted Flycatcher
Swift
Wheatear
Whitethroat
Yellow Wagtail
Unusual Visitors
Curlew
Sandpiper
Great Grey Shrike

Grey Phalarope
Lapland Bunting

Mediterranean Gull
Montagu’s Harrier
Serin
Snow Bunting
Short-eared Owl
Yellow-browed Warbler

Highdown Hill (NT)
Rich artifacts from the bronze and iron ages and Roman times, have been found here; items are on display at Worthing Museum. The hill is also a Saxon burial site.

Highdown Gardens
Situated near the top of Highdown Hill, these lovely Grade II* chalk gardens were created by St Frederick and Lady Stern. Theynow belong to Worthiung Borough Council and are open to the public.

Ilex Avenue
This avenue of some 400 Evergreen or Holm Oaks (Quercus ilex) is almost a mile in length. It was planted c 1840 by David Lyon of Goring Hall as a carriage entrance to the property from the east and from the west, and is considered to be one of the finest examples of its type in the world.

Goring Hall
This Grade II listed building was constructed in the 1830’s by the Lyon family who remained owners until the mid-1930’s. For a time it was used as a school before being restord and enlarged in the 1990’s for use as a private hospital.

The Plantation
This belt of trees marking the position of a walkway to the beach from Goring Hall is an important habitat for many resident birds and some uncommon plants.

Neolithic Axe Head
A polished flint axe head was found in the north-est section of Goring Gap in 1994. It is now held at Worthing Museum.

Shingle Beach Flora
This highly specialised habitat is being rapidly lost, mainly duie to disturbance. Remnants of this type, such as Sea Kale, Bittersweet, and even Yellow Horned Poppy can be seen beside the path.

Illustrations include:
Skylark, Wheatear, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher
Silver Y, Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow butterflies
Mallow, Field Bindweed, Yellow Horned Poppy plants
Bass, Flounder fish

Features on the skyline
which can be seen from the Goring Gap sea wall include:
Clapham and Patching woods
Chanctonbury Ring
High Salvington windmill
Cissbury Ring.

Distances from the sea wall:
Worthing pier 3 miles
Brighton 12 miles
Beachy Head 30 miles
Selsey Bill 18 miles
Isle of Wight 35 miles
Dieppe 68 miles

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