Garry Purnell

Hello, my name is Garry Purnell and I live on the Widewater with my lovely wife Gill and have done so for 11 years.

It’s a great place to live, with lots of very nice people around us, most of whom take an interest in keeping our Local Nature Reserve in good repair, as well as socialising together. My current role with the Committee is Joint Chair.

We all try to make everyone welcome and join into our activities. I hope that you too will discover our hidden treasure and come to love it as we all do.


Paula Baker

Hello, my name is Paula Baker and I have lived on the lagoon for almost 5 years.  I moved from Brighton shortly after retirement and have never regretted a moment!  I joined WOW immediately after moving in and within 6 months was elected onto the committee, who not only welcomed me warmly, but have since become good friends!

The lagoon has so much become a part of my life that I cannot envisage living anywhere else.  I enjoy walking my dog Alfie daily along the coastal path. Each day provides a different delight, whether it be the kingfisher flashing by, a cormorant catching a fish, or the mute swans calling to each other on a still, misty, rainy day.  I particularly enjoy the sense of community that being both a resident and a committee member, gives me.

A keen ukulele player, I am a member of a local ukulele group and we give our time freely to play in Care homes, Memory centres and Retirement homes.  I also enjoy painting and what better place to live than here, the lagoon is a constant source of inspiration!

I am currently sharing the Chair with Garry Purnell and we are both Vice Chair.


Jo Procter

Hi. My name is Jo Procter and I have been the Secretary of WOW since 2007 when I came to live on the Widewater with my family. We fell in love with this beautiful place and we don’t want to live anywhere else!

I developed a particular interest and passion for swans and some may know me as the Swan Lady! I work as a volunteer at the Swan Sanctuary, a wonderful hospital and sanctuary for sick and injured swans in Shepperton and I rescue swans locally.

I am an active member of WOW and have been involved in various projects. We are lucky to have this lovely Nature Reserve on our doorstep and it is a pleasure and privilege to be part of a friendly, community group who love and care for it.


Gill Purnell

Hello my name is Gill Purnell, I have lived with my husband, Garry and our little dog Tilly on the Widewater Lagoon since 2005. I am still amazed at the beauty of the Widewater with the changes in light, sea colours and lagoon colours. The birds, wildlife and plant life provide me with a  constant source of wonder and joy. I am very happy to be a member of the World of Widewater Committee and act as the Membership Secretary, we have a great time working together and are a very friendly bunch. We always welcome new committee members so if you fancy coming on board we would love to welcome you.


Marion Wood

World of Widewater Committee member, Marion Wood, has been living on Widewater Lagoon  since 2004, after downsizing from a house on Shoreham Beach foreshore where she and her late husband David had lived for 15 years, enjoying visits from their 5 children and 7 grandchildren.

Marion was brought up on a farm in Kent during the war and met her husband after he was demobbed from wartime activities in the Royal Air Force.  Future homes, because of his eventual jobs and activities included York, Northumberland, Kenya, Kent, and then with the Nature Conservancy Council, in London, Shropshire, Wales and Banbury.

Both very keen Naturalists and now retired, they developed a mutual hobby in running Identification Walks of Coastal flowers, plants and shrubs on Shoreham Beach .

Marion now has the pleasure of continuing these walks for WOW members on Widewater Lagoon Local Nature Reserve. as well as for many interested local people.


Janice Roberts

Janice was born in Shoreham by Sea and has lived and worked in the local area all her life. She worked for Adur Council from 2009 and later for Adur & Worthing Councils as a Group Accountant for 18 years, she has also lectured  part time for The Chartered Management Institute at Brighton University. She now spends her time working with her husband in their business, being involved in local charity/voluntary organisations & enjoying her grandchild. She became a Committee member and Treasurer of the WOW in September 2017,  and is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead for The World of Widewater.