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Recreation - Non Motorised Water Sports

Non-motorised watercraft is a generic term which includes both small sailing boats (without a motor) and also paddlesports. Small sailing boats include dinghies, day boats or other small keelboats which are usually taken out of water at end of use. Paddlesports is a term for a range of watersports which involve the use of a paddle for propulsion. This includes sea kayaking, surf kayaking, sit-on-top kayaking, Canadian canoeing and stand up paddle boarding (SUP).

Most small sail boat activity occurs in relatively sheltered areas. Vessels are launched from slipways or sheltered beaches using a trailer or trollies. Activity is centred around sailing clubs, activity centres, harbours and marinas. Paddlesports are generally undertaken close inshore (typically within 1-2 km of the coast). Watercraft that are used for paddling activities have a shallow draught. This allows access to shallow areas of the coast (which are often inaccessible to larger vessels or humans on foot). The focuses of these activities is generally centred around beaches and exploring interesting coastal features such as rock formations (sea caves, arches, cliffs etc), inlets, estuaries and wildlife. Kayaks are also increasingly used as a platform for recreational fishing.

The main impacts arising from this activity category are considered to be:

Source: Marine recreation evidence briefing: Non-motorised watercraft including paddlesports (EIN028).


Paddlesport Guidelines to Avoid Bird Disturbance in Solent European Marine Sites

Guidelines for paddlesports were produced by the Solent Forum’s Natural Environment Group’s working group on recreation; the Recreation Focus Group (RFG). The RFG was established to look at the issue of disturbance to birds from paddlesports; an action identified by the Solent’s Relevant Authorities in the Solent European Marine Sites (SEMS) annual survey. They also help to meet actions on recreation identified in Natural England’s Solent Site Improvement Plan (SIP).

These Guidelines are designed to give generic consistent advice for Paddlesports users across all SEMS sites; they have been circulated to all SEMS Relevant Authorities (RAs). It is hoped that these Authorities will take this guidance and transpose it into their existing publications, digital media, maps and signage. It will help them to fulfill their requirements for managing activities under the EU Habitats Directive.


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