Hayling Oysterbed Introduction
Oysters were abundant in the shallow waters of the south coast of the UK. They were a delicacy dating back to the Roman times and were thought to be an aphrodisiac. The demand for Oysters outstripped supply and productivity was increased by managing Oysterbeds. The Oysterbeds at Hayling were so managed from the early 19th century. Oysters were ready for market when they were about 4 years old. Farming Oysters at Hayling continued until the 1970's when production ceased.
Creation of the Wildlife site
Havant Borough Council restored two of the old oysterbeds to create a wildlife site. The bunds (walls surrounding the oysterbeds) between these two oysterbeds were demolished in three places creating two islands. A break in the outer bunds in two places created weirs to let sea-water in at high tide but retain water around the islands at low tide. the aim of this work was to provide nesting sites for seabirds (particularly the Little Tern) and which could also be appreciated and enjoyed by the public.Further Reading and references:
Historical facts and details of the life of the Oyster and associated shellfish.
Brief history of Oysterbed Site from the island's web site.