Oysters were farmed on Hayling since as early as 1819, right up until the 1970s and became a delicacy that was exported throughout the country under the classification of “Emsworth Oysters”. Large complexes consisting of several pens separated by a series of bund walls were built to contain the oysters at varying stages of growth. Although large sections of the bund walls have since collapsed into the harbour, much of shape and scale of the beds can still be seen today.
In 1996, the oyster beds on the north west coast of Hayling Island were restored by the Havant Borough Council, creating a wildlife haven which has become an important seabird breeding site. The Design Council awarded this project ‘Millennium Product’ status for the renovation.