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Condition Assessments

A condition assessment is a collation of data and evidence from variety of sources including Nature Conservation body monitoring programmes, citizen science projects, academic institutions, designation verification surveys, casework history, and activities and pressure mapping. For designated marine sites in the Solent the assessment is prepared by Natural England. There are six reportable condition categories: favourable; unfavourable recovering; unfavourable no change; unfavourable declining; part destroyed and destroyed.

Condition assessments are prepared to support decision making for MPA management. Using condition information can:

The Solent Maritime SAC is one of the first Solent sites for which a condition assessment is being undertaken. The assessment for the feature Saline Lagoons is complete and indicates that they are in favourable condition. However, two key threats have been identified which have the potential to impact their condition and therefore require further monitoring. The first is the presence of invasive non-native species, most notably the amphipod Grandidierella japonica at Yar Bridge Lagoon and the polychaete Desdemona ornata at Newtown Quay Lagoon. The second is the continued decline of the lagoon specialist bivalve Cerastoderma glaucum, the reasons for which are unknown.

Natural England is aiming to complete the condition assessments for the Solent by spring 2018. The condition assessments will then be continuously updated as new evidence is collected to reflect current condition and to support management decisions. The Assessments can be found on Natural England's Designated Sites System once published at

Once the assessments are published they will be used to help determine the issues and risks to designated features and species in the SEMS Annual Management Report.