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An independent strategic coastal partnership


The Environment Agency, RSPB and Natural England are working together to adapt approximately 150 hectares of the Moors at Arne into a diverse wetland habitat.

With the sea level rising, important habitat for wildlife along the coast will be lost over the next 30 years. This “coastal squeeze”, where rising waters press against essential fixed sea defences, will mean a loss of inter-tidal features such as mudflats, salt marsh and reedbeds. New places for coastal wildlife will need to be created.

The Environment Agency has a legal obligation to provide compensatory habitat to mitigate for losses to conservation sites caused by sea level rise in the Poole Wareham area resulting from our flood risk management activities. In Poole Harbour, the partners are working together to explore how The Moors at Arne can be converted to inter-tidal habitat to compensate for the losses.

This project offers potential to make this site more resilient for sea level rise in the future and to manage the changes as naturally as possible, while protecting vital infrastructure such as Arne Road.

When finished, the coastal change project will enable the Environment Agency and its partners to continue to protect properties around Poole Harbour from the increased risk of flooding due to climate change. It is predicted up to 10,000 local properties could be at risk within 100 years.

The partnership of the three organisations will maximise the benefits for both local people and wildlife and we look forward to involving the community as the scheme evolves.


A drop-in session was held at Wareham Town Hall on 3 October 2017 and was attended by more than 100 people. It is important that the community is involved in the project. At this stage the priority is to identify issues of concern to residents so they can be investigated and accounted for in later design stages.

Next Steps

Feedback from this phase of the project will be accepted until the end of November 2017. See contact section below. A summary will be published by the end of the year.

Contractors and plant will be on site collecting borehole samples and establishing what materials are present, the water table, and groundwater flows. This information, combined with modelling and topographic surveys, will help develop the project and address technical challenges in delivering a preferred option. The information will also help answer any local concerns.

Site visits and meetings with residents are being planned to investigate some of the existing surface flooding and drainage problems and see what remedies might reduce impact on the community. Organisations with a particular interest in the infrastructure, such as Wessex Water and Dorset County Council, may be involved.



For further information email or telephone Vanessa Dare on 07748 622518.

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