Stanpit Marsh is bought from Henry Selfridge by Christchurch Borough Council for 5000.  That is the equivalent of almost 300,000 in 2017


It was proposed that where Two Riversmeet is today that this should be developed to include a 200-bed hotel, conference hall, and theatre, with an 18-hole golf course, putting green on Grimbury Marsh (on Stanpit Marsh), with roads leading to it, with a caf, ornamental gardens, a boating lake at Mother Sillers canal (on Stanpit Marsh), sports pitches, tennis courts and plenty of car parks. [some of these were developed but thankfully nothing got built on the Marsh].



The 125 acre site of Stanpit Marsh was declared a local nature reserve, largely due to the vision of Mrs Dorothy Baker, Mayor of Christchurch.


Norman Lane a founder member of the Stanpit Marsh Management Committee becomes chairman. He remains in this post for 12 years.


John Lavender, curator of the Red House Museum, becomes chairman of Stanpit Marsh Management Committee.


The first Stanpit Marsh warden was appointed: Miss Lynda Peterson (graduate in agricultural botany. She earned 25 per week for 3 months of the year.


 Cllr Mike Devall suggests that a Caravan Information Centre be placed at the top end of Stanpit Marsh.


Dorothy Baker dies at 90 having served on Christchurch Council for 25 years.

A sediment survey is undertaken by Mairi McNeil, warden of Stanpit Marsh, and graduate of biology; this reveals the history of the Marsh from the soils.


Peter Hawes, secretary of Stanpit Marsh Management Committee, announces the birth of FOSM, the Friends of Stanpit Marsh (14 December 1982), at a public meeting in Christchurch, with 30 people showing interest.



FOSM is formed in May 1983 with Cllr Patrick Woodward as chairman.


The Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) under the chairman Robin Walls.


Christchurch Council took over the control of Stanpit Marsh from the Stanpit Marsh Management Committee against the recommendations of the NCC.


in September Christchurch Council recommended a draft management strategy to by produced in consultation with NCC, and an annual budget be prepared and grants towards the upkeep of Stanpit Marsh sought.



December the NCC suspends operations, and later that month was disbanded. Chairman Robin Walls hands FOSM the NCC funds (3000) and says, The Friends of Stanpit Marsh are now the guardians of the Marsh, as there is now no official body to keep a check on Council activities on the Marsh.


1987 – 2017

FOSM continues to raise funds to support the upkeep of Stanpit Marsh, undertake research on the Marsh. A full disclosure of the contributions towards Stanpit Marsh Nature Reserve will be published in due course.