The Arun is the reason for Pulborough’s existence as a route of commerce to the sea at Littlehampton from at least Roman times – then Pulborough was an important community with a variety of industrial activities and important civic buildings.

This commercial use of the river continued well into the 20th century when it increasingly gave way to recreational uses, much as it is today.

The area around the river is a flood plain which still floods the water meadows from time to time which provides a haven for migrating water birds and other wildlife.