Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership

As a member of the Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership, we are working together with other local authorities and conservation bodies to protect the thousands of birds that spend the winter along the coast through the Solent Recreation Mitigation Strategy.

The Solent is internationally important for its over-wintering birds, with 90,000 waders and more than 10 per cent of the world's Brent Geese. Many of these waders and wildfowl fly thousands of miles to spend the winter here and must be able to feed undisturbed to build up enough energy reserves to survive the winter and complete their migratory journey back to their breeding grounds. In recognition of its importance the coast and adjoining estuaries have been designated Special Protection Areas (SPAS).

The Solent is also renowned for its coastal walks and other recreational opportunities. Millions of people visit each year, and planned new housing is set to increase that figure. People who are walking along the shore can, often unintentionally, disturb the birds especially dog walkers. So local authorities and conservation bodies are working together through the Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership to prevent that disturbance.

Under the Strategy, all residential development within 5.6km of the SPAs resulting in a net increase in dwellings will be asked to make a contribution towards mitigation projects in the Strategy. Through funding from developers in association with planning permissions for new housing, the Partnership has already established a team of rangers who will talk to visitors to the coast in the county about how to enjoy a walk without disturbing the birds who are spending winter along our shores.

Further information on the Strategy and how contributions can be made, can be found in the guidance note to applicants below. The Interim Mitigation Strategy (December 2014) and the terms of reference of the Partnership can be viewed on the Partnership's website using the following link:  www.birdaware.org