Opening Soon

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

Visiting Sompting Brooks

Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Your Visit
The Sompting Brooks River Trail has been created as part of the Enhancing Places, Inspiring Communities (EPIC) project. Follow the trail along the brand new route of the Broadwater Brook next to establishing wildflower meadows. Take in the artwork and sculptures created by the local community, stop in our living willow hide to observe the sites fascinating bird life and end up at our seating and picnic area with fantastic views of the South Downs.

On-site interpretation explains the results of archaeological investigations on site, giving visual representations of the landscape of thousands of years.

There is plenty to see here and we hope you enjoy your visit.

Site Information

The Sompting Brooks River Trail sits within Church Farm on Sompting Brooks, nestled in the greenspace between Lancing to the East, Broadwater to the West and Sompting to the north.

The trail starts at the edge of Sompting and follows the course of Loose Lane southwards before bending right into Dog-Leg Field. On entering the field you will see the transformation which has been created since 2019. The trail continues between newly created wildflower meadows and a developing scrub zone which is being left to re-naturalise, continuing a few hundred meters you will meet the new course of the Broadwater Brook.
 
Fringed with reeds at this point, this habitat is home to rare bird species such as Cetti’s Warbler and the occasional Bearded Tit. Continuing up the channel you will come across our living willow hide which will develop into a quiet sanctuary to watch the wildlife making the site its home. Beyond this the path continues past community inspired wooden sculptures and the remains of the Sompting Knucker (dragon) before reaching the picnic area, currently the end of the site. 
 
At the picnic area there are benches and access to a bridge to look back down the new channel. Information boards here display the results of archaeological exploration during the project with some fantastic drawings of how the site looked thousands of years ago. A seasonal pond provides habitat for wading birds, amphibians and insects and a bench made by local volunteers offers inspiring views of the South Downs. 
 
The site is rich in natural and cultural heritage heritage which is well explained and presented. 
 
This is still a working farm and machinery can be moving through the fields or livestock may be present. Many of the fields surrounding the River Trail are managed as conservation areas for the abundant wildlife which uses the area and we ask that our visitors do not stray from the marked trail and follow our guidelines for dog owners. 
 

We hope you enjoy your visit and welcome any feedback you may have

 

 

Opening Times

The site is open year round and is free to enter. 

Due to farming operations it may be necessary to temporarily close the path periodically for management or maintenance activities. Any site closures will be posted on the website so please check before you travel. 

Getting Here

The entrance to the river trail is at the end of Loose Lane in Sompting, West Sussex, BN15 0DQ.

Please be aware that there is no parking at the site and we kindly request that you do not park in areas designated for local residents and do not block driveways or junctions.

We would encourage all visitors to arrive on foot or by public transport. There are a number of bus stops nearby serviced by the Number 7 bus which covers Worthing, Lancing, Durrington, Salvington, and Sompting.

 

Accessibility

Our aim has been to make the site accessible to all whilst retaining the natural feel to this greenspace. 

The site is mainly across level ground and there are no steep gradients.  The track is approximately 1km long and currently ends in a dead end (i.e. you will need to walk back the way you came) although this will change over the coming years to become a circular walk.

Wheelchair Access

The river trail has been laid with a Fittleworth Stone surface making it accessible to wheelchair users, pushchairs and electric mobility buggies. All gateways are accessible to all users and there are no stiles on the site.

Picnic Area

The picnic area has wheelchair friendly tables and there are benches along the route of the trail for resting 

Vehicle Access

No cars (or motorised vehicles), bicycles or horses are permitted on site.

Toilets

There are no toilet facilities on or near the site although we encourage visitors to explore the local area with its shops and pubs. 

The Hide
As you stroll along the path you will come across our living willow structure which was planted in Spring 2020. This has been created as a hide to enable viewing of the sites wildlife along the river. 

Over the next few years this will be shaped and re-woven as it develops into the fully screened structure we would like it to be. 

In the meantime, feel free to pop in and see what you can spot, remember to email us your sightings at Linda.Kerrison@oart.org.uk or through our App “EPIC Sompting” which can be downloaded from the Google Play store on Android phones. 

Dogs


We welcome well behaved dogs to the site. As dog owners ourselves we appreciate our furry friends being able to stretch their legs so we are not insisting that all dogs are kept on leads. However, we kindly request you follow our guidelines which are for the enjoyment of all visitors as well as for the protection of the wildlife which lives here.

1. Make sure your dog is always in sight, stays within the marked footpath area and comes back when called. If you are not confident of your dogs recall please use a lead.

2. Never let you dog approach, chase or disturb livestock or wildlife.

3. Never let your dog approach people or other dogs uninvited.

4. Pick up your dog waste and dispose of it responsibly. Please do not leave dog waste or plastic bags on the site as it can be harmful to children, livestock and wildlife.

Please remember, not everyone likes dogs.

Get Involved

Interested in getting involved with maintaining and monitoring the site? 

We have created the Sompting River Rangers which meet once a month to undertake management activities on the site. From vegetation management to hedgerow surveys, river habitat creation to maintenance of on-site infrastructure we are always keen to hear from people who would like to get involved and volunteer a few hours of their time each month. 

Alongside the maintenance activities we also have a programme of ecological monitoring so we can keep an eye on how the site is developing over time. Reptiles, bats, harvest mice, freshwater invertebrates, vegetation, dragonflies, you name it and we are probably monitoring it. Whether you are a complete beginner or an expert in the field we would be delighted to see you in the field giving us a hand or training others. 

For all enquiries about getting involved at the Sompting River Trail email Linda.Kerrison@oart.org.uk.

 

Project Partners
           

        

     

What Might You See?

Want to Know More?

Please browse our website pages for more information on the project.

Join our Community Facebook page for regular updates on sightings, activities and opportunities to get involved with the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/3005769709475534/

Follow us on Twitter @EPICSompting