Hayling Island

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Hayling Island is an island off the south coast of England, in the borough of Havant in the county of Hampshire. It is twinned with Gorron, Mayenne, France.



Hayling Island is a true island, completely surrounded by natural watercourses at all states of the tide. Looking at its north to south orientation, it is shaped like an inverted T, about 6.5 kilometres (4 miles) long and 6.5 kilometres wide. A road bridge connects its northern end to the mainland of England. A small passenger ferry connects it to the neighbouring island of Portsea where the city of Portsmouth is located. To the west is Langstone Harbour and to the east is Chichester Harbour.

The natural beach at Hayling was predominantly sandy but in recent years it has been mechanically topped with shingle dredged from the bed of the Solent in an effort to reduce beach erosion and reduce the potential to flood low lying land. At low tide, the West Winner sandbank is visible, extending a mile out to sea. The coastline in this area has substantially changed since Roman times: it is believed much land has been lost from the coasts of Hayling and Selsey by erosion and subsequent flooding.

Location and area

Leisure activities

Although largely residential, Hayling is also a holiday, windsurfing and sailing centre, the site where windsurfing was invented. In 1985, British courts recognised prior art by Peter Chilvers, who as a young boy on Hayling Island assembled his first board combined with a sail, in 1958. It incorporated all the elements of the modern windsurfer. The courts found that later innovations were "merely an obvious extension" and upheld the defendant's claim based on film footage.[1] This court case set a significant precedent for patent law in the United Kingdom, in terms of Inventive step and non-obviousness. The case, Chilvers, Hayling, and a replica of Chilvers' original board were featured on an episode of BBC One Show in 2009.[2]

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