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An independent strategic coastal partnership

Introduction

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.


Consultation

A drop-in session was held at Wareham Town Hall on 3 October 2017. Arne Parish Council also organised a meeting on the 31 October 2017 in Furzebrook Village Hall. Both the meeting and the drop-in session were well attended and a variety of thoughts were shared both on the day and in feedback since the events. The consultation period ran from 3 October until the 30 November.  The Environment Agency have produced a summary of the collated feedback forms received during and since the events.

It is important to the project team 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

The project team plan to hold the next public drop-in session in the autumn, however they will continue to engage with the local community on a regular basis.  If you would like to contact them at any time, please email: themoorsatarne@environment-agency.gov.uk


Resources


Contact

For further information email themoorsatarne@environment-agency.gov.uk or telephone Vanessa Dare on 07748 622518.

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