Manhood Peninsula Partnership > Projects > SWISh « you are here



SWISh aims to build and maintain resilience to address issues and concerns with the water cycle arising from climate change, flooding from coasts, rivers and rifes, while emphasising the importance of water conservation during increasing periods of drought.

The Manhood Peninsula Surface Water Issues and Solutions Group (SWISh) arose out of discussions at the Manhood Peninsula Partnership into the impact of Operation Watershed, the emergence of flood groups across the peninsula, their relationship with parish councils and the then emerging changes to the existing and newly responsible drainage  organisations as a result of the Water Resources Management Act 2011.

SWISh is essentially a working group. Local Flood Action Groups on the Manhood and organisations that have a direct responsibility for drainage and flood defence are getting involved with the overall aim to:

Explore the potential and the form of a scheme of local management of surface water drainage and flood risk within the Peninsula.

The work of the group is based on the findings of the Defra Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder Scheme, the Manhood Peninsula Surface Water Management Plan and the core of local knowledge and information assembled by flood groups. At present it is anticipated SWISh will explore the following themes:

  1. Because of the interconnectivity of the peninsula’s drainage, a collaborative approach between ideally all parishes is being investigated via the FLOW project.
  2. Identify a possible scheme of ditch prioritisation based on ‘transporter ditches’ and ‘collection ditches’ ie those essential to ensure an area drains and/or form part of a network and those that although important for a particular location are primarily only to drain a relatively self contained location.
  3. Explore the intrinsic relationship between the foul drainage system and surface water – particularly the scale of mixed systems ie taking both foul and for instance roof drainage common with older properties; infiltration of surface water into the foul system and the potential for a surface water ‘sewer system.
  4. Investigate existing funding and new sources and how the future costs of drainage including coast protection will be met.
  5. Investigate ownership and responsibility such as riparian liabilities, notification of issues, emergency action, the hierarchy of the existing water management. This is linked to mapping and records - is there a centralised system? If so, who maintains it?
  6. Global warming is an integral part of all studies in the area and includes: the impacts of rising sea levels, contamination of fresh water ground conditions by the ingress of salt water, temperature change and issues of drought and extreme weather, particularly rainfall.

The Manhood Peninsula offers the potential for a self contained study area, because as a peninsula it is a self contained geographic unit. West Sussex CC has formed one of the first strategic flood boards under the 2011 Act and through the support of the National Flood Forum the county has one of the only flood group forums in the country.

Within this context the initiative on the Peninsula may have recognition at a national level as a pilot demonstration project.

Key Aims

To provide a unified system of land drainage across all the Manhood Parishes that, taking into account the amount of resources available, maximises the level of protection from flood risk for all communities.

The group works with West Sussex County Council, Chichester District Council, Southern Water, the Environment Agency and other stakeholders to fulfil elements of the Manhood Peninsula Surface Water Management Plan 2015. To further this aim WSCC have produced a number of documents to help parishes become an effective first point of contact for riparian maintenance and riparian obstruction issues. These documents can be downloaded via the following links:

Letter template for Parish Councils for Riparian Maintenance

Letter template for Parish Councils for Riparian Obstruction

Ordinary watercourse consenting and enforcement process for Parish Councils


Follow this link to read the SWISh Terms of Reference.

In addition the West Manhood Drainage Improvement Group have put together a document that identifies the West Manhood Group approach to defining and resolving land drainage issues.

Follow this link to find out about the approach of the West Manhood Drainage Improvement Group.



The RSPB's newest nature reserve at Medmerry offers long walks and cycle rides through an amazing new landscape only a stone's throw from Pagham Harbour, with new mudflats, tidal lagoons, saltmarsh, wildlife-friendly farmland, dragonfly-rich ditches and great views and sunsets. Situated on the Manhood Peninsula coast, south of Chichester, this is a ground breaking project and the first of its kind... Read More»

Drainage & Flood Risk

Drainage & Flood Risk

Drainage and flood risk are increasing problems on the Manhood Peninsula which may worsen considerably with climate change. For local advice see the Chichester District Council web pages for Drainage - Help and Advice. The Manhood Peninsula Partnership (MPP) commissioned a drainage survey of the peninsula from Royal Haskoning DHV during the ESPACE Project in 2006 (see link below) and is working closely... Read More»

ICZM 2011 - Coastal Change Pathfinder

In late 2009 the Government awarded £11 million in grants to local authorities who demonstrated the best and most innovative ideas for dealing with and adapting to coastal change. To its delight, Chichester District Council was awarded £450,000 and and became part of the Coastal Change Pathfinder Project. The project began properly in May 2010 and continued until the end of June 2011. A total... Read More»