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Bird signLand Based Recreation (Walking & Dog Walking)

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW Act) normally gives a public right of access to land mapped as open country (mountain, moor, heath and down) or registered common land. These areas are known as ‘open access land’. A coastal margin is being created as part of the work to implement the England Coast Path (ECP). Much of the coastal margin is open access land under the CROW Act.

The SEMS annual monitoring considers access and walking, with or without dogs, to be an important 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.

Its purpose 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 arising from new housing development. This is to prevent a significant effect on the three Special Protection Areas in the Solent. It supersedes the Solent Disturbance and Mitigation Project which commissioned research into the impacts. View the Bird Aware Solent website for lots of detailed information and resources on mitigating recreation on the Solent's coastal birds.

Bird Aware also produces comprehensive Monitoring Reports that give detailed information on coastal walking participation across various Solent sites.

England Coast Path

The England Coast Path will be a National Trail around all of England’s coast. Natural England expects to complete work on the Path in 2020. The following stretches of the path cover Solent locations.

As part of the process in establishing the path, Natural England produces documents that record its assessment of any potential ecological impacts of people accessing the coast. These documents help to give detail on the impacts at specific coastal locations.