Lymington Habitat Creation Lecture

On 20th February 2014 some 40 people gathered in the Lymington Community Centre to hear Colin Scott of ABPmer deliver an appraisal of the progress being made with coastal habitat creation work.  He summarised progress and issues in national context (drawing upon feedback from the ABPmer conference held in November 2013 as sponsored by the SPS).  He also drew attention to the following key developments in the Solent:

  • The Medmerry Realignment – this large-scale project next to Selsey has delivered local flood protection and provided compensation habitat to facilitate other flood defence works in the Solent. It was of huge benefit that it was completed before the recent severe storms because the damage and cost of restoration would have been huge without it.  It has responded well to these storms and is proving to be a cost-effective and valuable project already.
  • The West Wittering, Lepe and Lymington Regulated Tidal Exchanges – these projects  highlight the range of techniques that have been used for providing a controlled introduction of tidal waters onto hinterland habitats and, thus, allowing for longer-term adaptations to coastal change and sea level rise.
  • The Lymington Saltmarsh Recharges – two new projects by the Lymington Harbour Commission and Wightlink Ltd have been undertaken to delay the erosion of saltmarshes locally.  These are mitigation for possible development impacts.  Colin considered that they had performed very well and had been successful in achieving their goals.  He pointed out that they are actually relatively small in scale (i.e. volumes of sediment used) compared to comparable projects in Essex.  He expressed the hope that more, larger-scale projects would be attempted to protect marshes in the Solent in the future and recommended that long-term strategies for such work are developed.

To view Colin’s presentation slides click here.

A video showing the progress of the Whitelink marsh creation project can be seen below. It shows a time lapse of the build up of the marsh, quite against the trend of the area.

(A talk by Geoff Holmes from Lymington Harbour Commissioners given to stakeholders earlier in the year adds an interesting perspective on the importance of Habitat Creation. It can be viewed by clicking here)

Lymington Harbour Position Report

A guest blog by Geoff Holmes, Lymington Harbour Commissioner.

Lymington is a fascinating harbour. The new ferries have caused constant controversy; while the active yacht clubs have produced many famous yachtsman. It is therefore a major factor in Solent life. But the harbour itself is under threat. The Saltmarsh that acts as breakwater and flood defence is retreating at an alarming rate. So the harbour commission, with limited resources, has had to decide what it can do to protect this important Solent resource. In doing so, it has had to navigate numerous environmental designations, and recent changes to Trust Port legislation.

In his presentation to stakeholders Geoff Holmes (one of the Lymington Harbour Commissioners) gave considerable insight into the issues and the actions already undertaken and planned by the Harbour Commissioners.

We are delighted to publish Geoff’s presentation us a guest blog. Please click here to read it.

(Work on Habitat Creation in the Solent was described at a talk in the SPS Winter Lecture series in Lymington on the 20th Feb. A report on that meeting can be seen by clicking here)

The Lymington Habitat Creation Lecture

A lecture in Lymington by Colin Scott of ABPMer

Thursday 20th Feb 7:30 pm

Fuller/ MClellan Room, Lymington Community Centre, Cannon Street, SO41 9BQ 

Colin Scott Lymington 1

•             20 years ago the practice of coastal habitat creation was a relatively novel concept and undertaken at a small-scale if at all;

•             Today practices such as the landward ‘managed realignment’ of sea defences is a mature and well understood coastal management practice;

•             In the UK alone, over 60 managed realignment projects have been completed through a variety of different approaches; 

•             With each new project, lessons have been learned which have increased our confidence in the effectiveness and value of this approach;

•             As a result we have moved from the small-scale trial initiatives of the early 1990s to much more ambitious landscape-scale projects in recent years (e.g. the Medmerry scheme at Selsey);

•             There are many reasons to undertaking such work such as: improving flood protection, lowering defence maintenance costs; reducing intertidal erosion and achieving a more sustainable coastal morphology;

•             However, implementing these schemes is complex and costly especially at a large scale.  There are many, major challenges associated with them and these were highlighted at the SPS–sponsored conference in November 2013;

•             As a result of these challenges, more novel approaches and more partnership-based working may be needed to help realise such projects in the future;

•             Also, we will need to place more emphasis on protecting the coastal habitats that we have through practices such as saltmarsh recharge.  The two new recharge projects in Lymington provide valuable lessons about how that might be achieved.  

The event is open to all, including non-members. Prior reservation is essential, and to book please click here or 

http://comlay.uk or email us at events@solentprotection.org 

Colin is an Associate consultant with ABP Marine Environmental Research.  He has 20 years’ experience of working on marine Environmental Impact Assessment and ecological monitoring projects.  A large part of his work involves designing, assessing and monitoring managed realignment projects and he also places great emphasis on communicating the lessons being learned from these and other coastal habitat creation projects.   Over the last 10 years, he has been involved with the RSPB’s Wallasea Island Wild Coast realignment project which is set to become the largest and most ambitious coastal wetland restoration project in Europe.  He advised Wightlink on their recharge work at Boiler marsh and is also responsible for the assessment and monitoring work that accompanies that project.  

Boiler Marsh

The Society has been corresponding with the National Park Planning Authority regarding compliance by Wightlink with the conditions imposed as part of its planning consent. The Authority have told us that they are currently satisfied that the company is compliant but have asked us if we have any concerns as to why the objectives behind the conditions are not being fulfilled.

We would value any comment from Lymington or New Forest members for inclusion in any response that we make after the publication of the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Committee set up under the terms of the planning consent to monitor the recharge work at Boiler Marsh

Wet and windy visit to Hurst Castle

Nearly 40 people braved wind and rain to go on the Solent Protection Society visit to Hurst Castle. After meeting at Lymington a 45 minute ferry trip brought them to the landing stage in the harbour in Keyhaven, just behind the Castle.

SPS visit to Hurst June 2013

Disembarking at Hurst: Photo Colin Brown

The Castle has a long and chequered history. It was the perfect location to defend the western approach to the Solent. The castle was built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses and was completed in 1544. Charles I was imprisoned here in 1648 before being taken to London to his trial and execution. The castle was modernised during the Napoleonic wars and again in the 1870’s when the enormous armoured wings were constructed. Two of the huge 38-ton guns installed in the 1870’s can be viewed in their casemates. During World War II, Hurst was manned with coastal gun batteries and Searchlights. Since the castle has been opened to the public many more exhibits and exhibitions have been installed.

SPS visit to Hurst June 2013

On the battlements photo: Colin Brown

SPS Visit to Hurst Castle

The old tower Photo: Sarah Fremantle

Having landed and taken a conducted tour of the historic parts of the Castle, the SPS members were treated to an extensive buffet lunch in the garrison theatre.

SPS Visit to Hurst Castle

Garrison theatre Phot: Graham Rabbitts

A new Lighthouse related Museum

Anyone interested in lighthouses, museums, or the heritage of the Solent area will find fascinating the new museum extension recently opened by the Association of Lighthouse Keepers (ALK) at Hurst Castle. Beautiful lighthouse lenses, lighthouse artefacts, a lighthouse interior reconstruction, and large information boards detailing the Needles lighthouse. SPS had been impressed by the effort put in by ALK and its members to create the new displays.

Conservation award from Solent Protection Society

SPS Visit to Hurst Castle

Presenting the SPS Conservation Award to the President of ALK. Photo Graham Rabbitts

The qualities that led the Solent Protection Society to grant a Conservation Award to the ALK Museum at Hurst Castle were the dedication, ingenuity and perseverance of a small number of skilled and enthusiastic ALK volunteers. Lights, lenses and artefacts were found or borrowed, interactive exhibits from other museums were acquired and also a full size replica of a portion of the Kitchen in the Needles lighthouse has been constructed. In the replica, the 1850s furniture that would have been in the Needles lighthouse when it was built in 1859, has been faithfully recreated with many parts being specially made to suit. To contain a vast number of artefacts that the ALK acquired from ALK member a redundant conservatory was cannibalised to make a superb display case.

ALK Museum at Hurst Castle

To contact the ALK visit http://www.alk.org.uk

SPS Response to Planning Application to Recharge Boiler Marsh

Posted on 11 Jan 2011

The Solent Protection Society wishes to object to this application

The Solent Protection Society strongly supports the principle of the beneficial use of material dredged from the Lymington River to restore or improve salt marshes in the vicinity of Lymington so offsetting the effect of natural process which are damaging these areas

We wish to object on the basis of deficiencies in the Environmental Statement, which forms part of this application.

Firstly we can find insufficient evidence to explain why Boiler Marsh has been chosen, or that others have been considered. This information would enable interested parties to understand why Boiler Marsh is considered the best site for beneficial use of dredging, and offers the greatest chance of early success

Secondly we consider that there is inadequate evidence in the Environmental Statement on the effects of the propulsion system of the ferries and the effect on the river channel. In view of this omission we consider that Natural England have not shown that that the suggested recharge of 2000 Cu Metre Is appropriate

This particular scheme is unusual in that Wightlink will have an on ongoing obligation to the recharge of Boiler Marsh.  It is the nature of any such scheme that being subject to natural forces, it is in part, experimental.  The initial recharge and any subsequent recharges will add to sum of knowledge on this subject and hence be beneficial to future schemes in the Solent. We therefore welcome the principle of the proposal.

SPS Response to Wightlink Terminal Planning Aplication

Posted on 11 Jan 2011

Response by Solent Protection Society to New Forest District Council in respect of the planning application to carry out work to the Wightlink Ferry Terminal

The Solent Protection Society wishes to object to this application

The Solent Protection Society welcomes the above application by Wightlink for upgrading and modifications of the shore works at the Lymington Car Ferry Terminal, on the grounds that this will facilitate berthing of ferries and, importantly from an environmental point of view, reduce the time during which it is necessary to use thrusters at each berthing. We wish to object on the basis of deficiencies in the Environmental Statement, which forms part of this application.

Firstly we can find insufficient evidence to explain why Boiler Marsh has been chosen, or that others have been considered. This information would enable interested parties to understand why Boiler Marsh is considered the best site for beneficial use of dredging, and offers the greatest chance of early success

Secondly we consider that there is inadequate evidence in the Environmental Statement on the effects of the propulsion system of the ferries and the effect on the river channel. In view of this omission we consider that Natural England have not shown that that the suggested recharge of 2000 Cu Metre Is appropriate

This particular scheme is unusual in that Wightlink will have an on ongoing obligation to the recharge of Boiler Marsh.  It is the nature of any such scheme that being subject to natural forces, it is in part, experimental.  The initial recharge and any subsequent recharges will add to sum of knowledge on this subject and hence be beneficial to future schemes in the Solent.