Protected Sites

The Lymington River estuary is recognised as an important area for nature conservation. Most of the Lymington River estuary falls within the Solent Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar Site. The tidal areas of the estuary form part of the Solent Maritime Special Area of Conservation (SAC). A single management scheme exists for the SPA and SAC sites - The Solent European Marine Sites scheme (SEMS).

Lymington Harbour Commission (LHC) has responsibilities under the SEMS management scheme to monitor and report any changes to activities in European designated sites within their jurisdiction. For the latest information on the management and monitoring of the sites please visit the SEMS website. 

Official monitoring and reporting on the status of designated sites is undertaken by Natural England. Maps, the monitoring results, any required actions and those bodies responsible for these are available at Nature on the Map.

Saltmarsh Monitoring

A key challenge facing the harbour is that the saltmarsh which has historically provided shelter from wave attack is eroding. As it erodes, the shelter the marsh provides to the harbour is diminishing and eventually the harbour and the sea defences which protect the town will become very exposed. Together with New Forest District Council, the Channel Coast Observatory and the Environment Agency, LHC continues to closely monitor the rates at which saltmarsh is being lost in order to guide its strategy for Harbour Protection.


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