The coastline we manage is of local, national and international importance due to the wildlife and habitats that are found here. For this reason, much of our coastline is designated and protected by law.
Locally we have important saltmarsh and mudflat habitats along the River Hamble and within Portsmouth, Langstone and Chichester harbours. These are important feeding areas for birds and nursery grounds for fish. Along the open coastline we have vegetated shingle beaches, which support plants and insects that are extremely rare in the UK and are therefore of national importance. Rare species of bird also visit our coastline as they migrate across Europe and internationally. They rely on our coastal environment to feed and rest during their lengthy seasonal migrations.
The natural coastal environment provides us with a wide range of important benefits, often referred to as ecosystem services. These include recreation, education, being able to watch and enjoy the environment and a great source of inspiration. Having green open spaces available to us, in our highly developed area benefits the local community and visitors alike, which in turn supports local businesses.
The work we do to protect our communities from the risks of coastal flooding and erosion can increase pressure on the natural coastal environment, which needs to be carefully managed to prevent harm. We work to enhance the coastal environment in all that we do and actively promote habitat creation opportunities, especially where they are linked to improved flood protection.
We consider the environment at every stage of coastal management, from developing coastal policy within strategies and plans, to carrying out works on the ground. We are legally bound to prevent damage to our coastal environment, however this is sometimes unavoidable where communities are at risk to coastal flooding and erosion. In such cases, we would explore compensation and mitigation options to make good any harm.
These environmental pages provide information on our environmental work and emphasise how we value it. They also highlight the environmental challenges we face due to climate change and sea level rise.
We also support wider environmental initiatives. Hampshire County Council have developed a Smart Living campaign which will give you information and advice on issues such as home composting, food waste reduction, bulky waste reuse and more. Visit the webpage www3.hants.gov.uk/waste-recycling/smartliving.htm for more information, videos and useful links.
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