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Lake selected as potential ‘compensatory habitat’

Coastal Partners, as part of Fareham Borough Council, has secured £556,000 from Defra Grant in Aid to commence a two-year study focusing on the future management of Hook Lake (part of the Hook with Warsash Nature Reserve) and opportunities to create new habitat at the site.

The Solent coastline is facing significant pressure from rising sea levels, more frequent and bigger storms, and increased flood and erosion risk. As a result, important coastal habitats such as saltmarshes are slowly being lost as they are squeezedagainst existing sea defences. Hook Lake has been chosen as a potential area to create new coastal habitat to offset these losses in the Hamble Estuary and the wider Solent.

The creation of new compensatory habitat is a legal requirement and will help to offset habitat losses today and in the future from new defence schemes.

The Hook Lake Coastal Management Study will look to maximise the potential benefits for both local people and wildlife. It will look at wider recreation opportunities and develop preliminary designs for a scheme.

Coastal Partners is a partnership between Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Portsmouth councils. It has coastal engineers from each authority working in one team to manage 100 miles of coastline across the Eastern Solent.

Cllr Simon Martin, of Fareham Borough Council, said: I am delighted that the project team were able to secure funding for this important study. Creating new habitats here will enable other coastal defence projects in the Borough to progress in the future and at the same time allow continued enjoyment of this coastline for years to come”.

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