Solent News – October 2020

News relating to the Solent Area, edited from source material from the Solent Forum and members of the Solent Protection Society and its members.

Select from this list to jump to the appropriate section:

In all articles, clicking on underlined text will open the referenced article in a new browser window.

Local News

Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is running Restart and Recovery & Kickstarting Tourism Grants. These have been created specifically to help SMEs in the Solent LEP area to adapt and diversify in response to the impacts of coronavirus, with at least £157,000 ring-fenced to support the visitor economy.

Read the latest edition of Chichester Harbour Conservancy’s publication ‘Harbour Life’

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is launching four new itineraries from Portsmouth, on their ship Balmoral.  Passengers sail along the Seine, search for the Northern lights, visit the Canaries or Christmas markets in Germany.

Cowes Harbour Commission has confirmed that after over 20 years as CEO/Harbour Master, Captain Stuart McIntosh is planning to retire in 2021. The Board of Commissioners will split his combined role of Harbour Master and Chief Executive Officer. This move will see the progression of Deputy Harbour Master Marine Services, Ed Walker, to the role of Cowes Harbour Master with responsibility for the safety and security of the Trust Port.

Listen to a podcast on ‘Oysters in the Solent – cleaning up our waters’ by Dr. Joanne Preston.

A new Economic Recovery Plan sets out how the Solent LEP, working with other local partners, will bring forward actions and interventions to help our region respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Portsmouth Water is offering a grant scheme from 2020 to 2025 for environmental improvements. The biodiversity fund is to the value of £250,000 (£50,000 per annum over 5 years).

A £10 million investment is set to see Ryde Pier’s redundant tram line transformed into a dedicated cycle and pedestrian walkway. It comes following a successful bid to the government’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) by the Isle of Wight Council. The proposals include the regeneration of the town’s transport interchange with improvements for pedestrians and cyclists along the entire length of Ryde Esplanade to Appley.

Portsmouth University scientists who re-engineered the plastic-eating enzyme PETase have now created an enzyme ‘cocktail’ which can digest plastic up to six times faster.

Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose has received £250,000 of National Lottery funding to help it survive “financial peril” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Registration is now open for the National Oceanography Centre’s Marine Autonomy & Technology Showcase (MATS 2020), which will be held as a virtual event for the first time from 10 to 12 November.

The ‘winter season’ has officially started for the Bird Aware rangers and they we will be heading out for their first site visits around the Solent. In a new blog post meet this year’s three seasonal rangers.

Dorset Council are advertising two posts within Dorset Councils Urban Heath Partnership focussed on mitigating recreational effects from increased residential development on Poole Harbour SPA.

One year ago, the Help Our Kelp Partnership was formed with the aim of regenerating the much depleted West Sussex kelp forests.

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust has been given a grant of £698,600 to continue to maintain their historically important buildings and boats, and keep open the doors of the International Boat Training College.

The Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership has been renamed ‘Coastal Partners’. The new web address is:https://coastalpartners.org.uk/. Their 2020 Annual Report is available here. They have also published the Langstone Alternative Alignment Options report.

Notice has been given by the Queen’s Harbour Master Portsmouth that small arms firings at Tipner Range have permanently ceased, the Danger Area in Portchester Lake and associated measures are now rescinded.

There has been a huge arrival of Brent geese from their arctic breeding grounds to Chichester Harbour.

Buckler’s Hard Yacht Harbour on the Beaulieu River has been nominated for Marina of the Year in The British Yachting Awards 2020, as the second phase of its £2m redevelopment is about to get underway.

Bird Aware Solent has been presented by the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) with a prestigious environmental award. They won their category for effective planning and a strategic vision in protecting local nature reserves, while also engaging with policymakers, local government, and housing developments.

Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth City Council and the Isle of Wight Council have jointly secured nearly £56 million from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund for new infrastructure to improve the way people travel around South East Hampshire and the Isle of Wight by foot, bicycle, or bus.

When evading predators and hunting prey, stealth is often key. Luckily our marine life has lots of cunning ways to hide in plain sight, from changing colour to self-decoration. Read a fascinating blog from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

Plans to build new homes on greenfield land at Newport Harbour have been reconsidered by the Isle of Wight Council.

The redundant tramway on Ryde Pier looks set to be transformed into a dedicated cycle and pedestrian walkway as part of a multi-million pound package of active travel and public transport improvements.

Portsmouth has welcomed Galicia, Brittany Ferries’ brand-new ship serving routes to Spain and France. She will undertake berthing trials in port before her entry into service for passengers in December 2020.

Southern Water’s Unflushables team visited the Isle of Wight to help prevent blockages of wet wipes, fat, oil, grease and other nasties. The team knocked on 258 doors in total, and more than 130 manhole covers were lifted between two of its pumping stations at Main Road, Ryde. Material clogging up its pumping stations was also removed. Unblocktober is the world’s first month-long national campaign and awareness month to improve the health of our drains, sewers, watercourses and seas.

Lymington Harbour are seeking to appoint a Harbour Commissioner with current experience of commercial operations within the leisure marine and/or commercial marine industries.

On 8 October, RRS Discovery sailed from Southampton to the Iceland Basin and Rockall Trough, as part of a research expedition aimed at enhancing understanding of the role of this critical part of the ocean in the climate and weather in Europe and the Arctic.

The fifth and final of Britain’s next-generation patrol ships will make her debut in Portsmouth before the end of the month after successful trials. HMS Spey is undergoing fine-tuning and final tweaks following an intense ten-day workout around the Firth of Clyde and waters of western Scotland before preparing for a long-term mission thousands of miles from the UK.

Southampton is bidding to become UK City of Culture 2025.

The 59th Annual General Meeting of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is to be held online via Zoom, on Tuesday 10 November 2020 at 7pm – 9pm.

Southern IFCA members decided at their September Authority meeting to apply the Temporary Closure Byelaw to all native oyster beds in the Solent, Southampton Water, Portsmouth & Langstone Harbour for the 2020/2021 season. Chichester Harbour oyster beds will also not be opening for the 2020 dredging season.

National News

The Environment Agency has set out new information and methods to understand the possible impacts of a changing climate on deterioration of flood defence assets. 

The MMO is recruiting for a Head of Marine Conservation. Apply by taking this link.

Government has published UK sea fisheries annual statistics report 2019.

Running from 2016 – 2020, The USAR project aims to introduce a resource-efficient approach based on the potential for re-use of dredged sediments in a number of novel applications.

A webinar, to show how coastal resilience to flood and erosion hazard could be measured and applied within policy-making processes, using England as a case study, is being held on 28 October. Register at this link.

The ban on supplying plastic straws and stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds came into force in England on 1 October.

The government has a new Port Infrastructure Fund as part of the preparations for life outside the European Union. The scheme will enable ports in England, Scotland and Wales to bid funding for capital projects for infrastructure that will be used to accommodate new customs and border process in 2021.

Ecostructure are studying eco-sensitive designs on artificial coastal structures (harbours, seawalls, breakwaters) along the Irish Sea coast. Watch a video here.

The final report for the Pembrokeshire Coasts ‘Surveying the Waterway Environment for Pollution Threats Volunteer Project 2018-19’ can be viewed by taking the link.

Natural England has published its priorities for Nature recovery, for 2020 to 2025. One objective is to establish marine by-laws which protect and improve the environment in Marine Protected Areas by working with marine regulating authorities, and advising Defra on how to reach Good Environmental Status.

Cefas has new kit to detect microplastics. They are able to detect microplastics in marine samples using FTIR imaging microscopes as small as 5 micrometres.

Local leaders from all around the country have co-signed a letter calling on the Chancellor to invest £1bn in the maritime sector to kick-start a world-leading maritime decarbonisation programme, creating tens of thousands of new green jobs as part of a green industrial revolution.

The organisers of the Coastal Futures conference and Restoring Estuarine and Coastal Habitats (REACH) project have joined with World Wildlife Fund-UK to develop a major online conference. This will take place from January 19th to the 21st, 2021. There will be 12-15 sessions covering a wide range of major themes that relate to the way we are intending to restore and recover our coastal and marine environment. If you have any agenda suggestions please take this link to email the organisers.

Watch a video on how eco-engineering can improve biodiversity on concrete coastal protection structures.

JNCC have published UK biodiversity indicators for 2020, take the link to view.

A three-year project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council aims to assess how tyre particles, as a form of marine litter, affect our seas and the species within them. Bringing together the Universities of Plymouth, Exeter and Newcastle, together with Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the research will aim to quantify tyre particle concentrations at their points of entry to the marine environment. It will then explore how far they can spread, and any harm they might cause, by measuring concentrations in the sediment, water and biota up to 15km from the shoreline.

The Swiss scooter pioneer Micro Mobility Systems is launching a sustainable children’s scooter line that uses recycled ocean plastic. The new Micro ECO kids’ scooters will be available in over 80 countries from January 2021.

The UK’s first sea-going electric ferry has set sail for the first time in Plymouth. The e-Voyager is the result of a project designed to reduce the environmental impact of maritime transport.

On 20 November, join experts for a webinar to share the latest scientific evidence on the relationships between blue spaces, health and wellbeing in Europe. The team will also highlight how the quality of blue spaces can be measured and improved to address health inequalities and environmental challenges, both now and in the future.

ABPmer was recently commissioned by Natural Resources Wales to understand the role marine habitats play in climate change mitigation. The study confirmed that marine habitats in Wales, such as saltmarshes and seagrass beds, can lock up huge amounts of carbon every year; the volume of carbon they can store is similar to those of terrestrial areas such as the Welsh woodlands and forests.

Consultations

In 2016 Solent Gateway Limited (SGL) was awarded a 35 year concession by the Ministry of Defence to manage, operate and develop Marchwood Port on the River Test.   SGL is consulting with the local community and stakeholders on its emerging plans for Marchwood Port from 10 September to 23 October 2020

Portsmouth City Council’s Planning Service has now prepared the draft Seafront Masterplan SPD for consultation.  The updated Seafront Masterplan SPD sets out a vision for Southsea seafront, providing planning guidance, identifying development opportunities, and highlighting elements of the seafront that should be enhanced and conserved. Deadline is 30 October.

Defra is seeking views on the updated marine monitoring programmes for the state of the UK’s seas for each of the UK Marine Strategy descriptors. The consultation document sets out the monitoring programmes it proposes to use to measure  progress towards Good Environmental Status across biodiversity, productivity, and pressures in UK seas; it notes the progress made since Part Two was originally published in 2014; and identifies the gaps and opportunities to address in the near future. Deadline is 17 November.

Havant Borough Council is reviewing the rules for dogs in designated public places and wants to hear from residents. A public consultation has been launched to seek resident’s views on plans to continue the current Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dogs on beaches and in parks and open spaces in the borough. Deadline is 27 November.

Participate in the South Marine Plans monitoring survey by 15 December,

Solent Marine License Applications

Visit: https://marinelicensing.marinemanagement.org.uk/mmofox5/fox/live/ to find the detail and status of a marine licence application and type in the case reference number.

Licence Applications Open for Public Consultation:·        None reported.

Other Marine Licence application variations, completions and requests in the last month in the Solent are shown below.

  • Minor Amendment to Layout of Town Quay Fishing Boat Pontoon Moorings.  Case reference:  MLA/2020/00292.
  • General enquiry – Construction, 14-20 Quayside Road, Southampton. Case reference: ENQ/2020/00121.

Wildlife Applications

None reported.