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Land Based Recreation

SEMS considers three types of land based recreation:

  1. Land recreation - Dog walking Activities that involve dogs, including when dogs are used for wildfowling
  2. Land recreation - Walking (other than dog walking) on upper shore or intertidal zone
  3. General Beach Recreation - Other Activities such as educational or scientific studies, horse riding, coastal fireworks displays, swimming, rock pooling, surfing, non-motorised land craft (e.g. sand yachting, kite buggying).

The SEMS annual monitoring considers access and land recreation to be a critical issue to address in the SEMS management scheme. Information from Natural England's new conservation advice packages  for the Solent's designated sites highlights the following potential effects that land based recreation may have on habitats and species.

Bird Aware Solent

Bird Aware Solent is the brand name of the Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership (SRMP). It is made up of fifteen local councils, Natural England, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Solent Forum, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, and Chichester Harbour Conservancy.

The purpose of the SRMP, is to facilitate joint working by local authorities and other bodies on the implementation of measures which will mitigate the impact of additional recreational activity which will result from planned housing development. This is to prevent a significant effect on the three Special Protection Areas in the Solent. It succeeds the Solent Disturbance and Mitigation Project which commissioned research into the impact. View the Bird Aware Solent website

England Coast Path

Work is well underway on the England Coast Path - a National Trail around all of England’s coast. For the first time people will have the right of access around all our open coast. Natural England expects to complete work on the England Coast Path in 2020. For details and the progress of the path around the south coast, which includes the Solent, please visit As part of the process in establishing the path, Natural England carries out assessments of the potential impacts of coastal access on nature conservation features. These documents record the conclusions of its appraisal of any potential for environmental impacts from the proposals to establish the path in the light of the requirements of the legislation affecting Marine Protected Areas. Assessments for Solent stretches are listed below.

* These reports are to be updated after the Sweetman II ruling. They will be replaced by a two reports for each stretch, an Assessment of Coastal Access Proposals and a Habitats Regulations Assessment (see Gosport to Portsmouth reports) .