Poole Harbour SSSI

Closed 24 Sep 2018

Opened 24 May 2018

Feedback updated 22 Jan 2019

We asked

Natural England consulted owners, occupiers and interested parties on the notification of additional land as part of the Poole Harbour Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on 24 May 2018.

You said

One objection was received relating to the notification of this land under Section 28B of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 but was subsequently withdrawn. Five representations expressing support for the notification were received through the online consultation.

We did

Natural England confirmed the notification of additional land as part of the Poole Harbour SSSI with a modification to the boundary and, consequently, to the area figure on the citation. The boundary modification is to exclude the recently constructed Poole South Quay. This was constructed prior to notification of the additional land and was notified in error due to it not yet being depicted on Ordnance Survey base mapping.

Results updated 22 Jan 2019



On 24 May 2018 Natural England notified additional land as part of the Poole Harbour as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), recognising the land is of importance for overwintering waterbirds and other interest features of the SSSI. Documents providing more information on both these consultations can be found in the related documents section. You can submit your views via an online survey, by email or post.

Why your views matter

The Poole Harbour SSSI - previously notified in 1990 - is situated on the Dorset Coast. The SSSI has been extended to include four areas of additional land. By far the largest is the estuarial open water below the Mean Low Water mark, which extends to the Harbour mouth in the east and westwards to where the estuary meets the Rivers Piddle and Frome. The other three areas comprise saltmarsh, wetland and supporting habitats around the fringes of Lytchett Bay and Holes Bay respectively. The SSSI continues to be of special interest for its estuarine habitats, including marshes, mudflats and subtidal communities; fringing terrestrial habitats, including heathlands and grasslands; and species supported by these habitats, including breeding and wintering birds, lichens, rare invertebrates and red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris. All of the four areas of additional land support estuarine habitats and/or wintering wildfowl and waders for which the site is of special interest. The areas lying below MLW also support other features for which the site is of special interest including foraging habitat for breeding seabirds, subtidal benthic (seabed) habitats (such as peacock worm Sabella pavonina and eelgrass Zostera marina beds). Also, within this area, coastal and marine geomorphological processes (including hydrodynamics, sediment movements and tidal inundation) occur and these natural processes are essential for the maintenance of the estuarine habitats such as saltmarshes and intertidal mudflats.

What happens next

We are now assessing the response to the consultation and will be making a recommendation to the Board of Natural England in due course. Natural England has to make a decision to either confirm or withdraw this notification by 23 February 2019 or the notification will cease to exist. Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Team will widely promote Natural England's decision.


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