An independent charity dedicated to young people 

Cobnor Activities Centre Trust is an independent charity based in Chichester Harbour, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  Our purpose is to provide high quality outdoor experiences to make life better for everyone - and in particular for young people - both on and off the water. We are licensed to provide Adventure Activities and are a recognised training centre for the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), the British Canoeing and British Cycling.

Our Mission 

Cobnor Activities Centre Trust exists to deliver outdoor, residential and environmental activities, which provide learning and educational development outcomes to support young people. 

Our vision is that all young people participating in these activities will be enabled and empowered to shape their own outlook on life. 

What we do  

Our dedicated team of professional staff specialises in providing training and development in a range of activities and courses including sailing, canoeing and kayaking, mountain biking, climbing and archery, as well as many other challenging and imaginative outdoor and environmental activities. From basic beginner courses right up to instructor level, choose the course that is right for you.

Cobnor Activities Centre is able to provide tailored, short to long term educational and development programmes for young people in primary, secondary and further education, complementing their formal timetable. All our courses and programmes have the ability to reinforce a positive and focused attitude towards key personal and social skills. Here at Cobnor, we recognise the fundamental potential within every young person to enable them to achieve their full potential. 

As well as our non-residential courses, we have residential accommodation for groups of 10-60 people from schools, colleges, universities and clubs as well as a camping field.

Book an individual course from our scheduled programme and pay on line, or get in touch to discuss your group’s specific requirements. We are dedicated to outdoor education and having fun outside.  

Where we are

Cobnor Activities Centre is close to the border of West Sussex and Hampshire, between Chichester and Portsmouth, on the Chidham peninsula. On the water, we are part of Chichester Harbour at the end of the Bosham Channel, with access to the water at all states of the tide, close to Itchenor, East Head and West Wittering, Hayling Island and Thorney Island. Off the water, we are close to the South Downs National Park, which offers us the perfect facilities for expeditions and off-road mountain biking. 

We are always looking for volunteers, and recruiting activity instructors in all disciplines. If you are interested, please do get in touch

Our History

Youth sailing at Cobnor began in the mid 1950s, thanks to Martin Beale OBE JP DL. Martin appreciated that he lived in a very beautiful area and was willing to share the uniqueness of Cobnor and Chichester Harbour with those less fortunate than himself.

In 1963 the Thames Barge, Pride of Sheppy, arrived on site and this brought the advent of residential courses at Cobnor.

Central government cut backs to local authorities were a worrying time in 1979 and to save the Centre from possible closure Cobnor Activities Centre Trust was formed.

Funding from West Sussex County Council ended in 2013 and Cobnor Activities Centre become wholly independent, reliant on income from our courses and the fundraising efforts of the Friends of Cobnor Activities Centre.

Our credentials

We are a non-profit making company Limited by guarantee (No.3158023)
We are a registered charity (No.1057222)
We are a licensed by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (L10842/R0388)

All our activity staff hold national governing body awards and staff are police checked. 

Our Structure 

Cobnor Activities Centre is managed by a Board of Trustees, who are chosen to provide expertise and skills in the following areas: Health and Safety; Human Resources/Legal; Finance; Marketing; Business expertise/experience; Education and the County Council. The company is made up of members who represent our stakeholders in the following areas: 

  • Education/advisory/youth work professional
  • Chichester Harbour Conservancy
  • Youth work (e.g. voluntary organisation/ Scouts/Guides etc.)
  • Community representative (form one of: Chichester District Council/County Council/Parish Council)
  • Staff of the centre
  • Representative of the Landlord
  • Representative of the residential user groups
  • Sponsor / Funder
  • Friends of Cobnor Activities Centre
  • Young people
  • Chichester Harbour Federation clubs
  • Representative of a Training Body (e.g. RYA, onboard, or BCU)
  • Schools ( 4persons to represent secondary, primary, SEN, independent, Chichester University or Chichester College)

The Company aims to have a representation from each of our 16 stakeholders above.