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Impacts and Management of Paddlesports in the Solent (IMP Solent)

Project objective:

To develop the evidence base on the impacts of paddlesports on the Solent's designated habitats and species, in particular birds, and explore suitable management options, using Chichester Harbour as a case study.

Key work areas:

A project brief has been agreed that gives more detail.


The Solent Marine Sites management group have reported on the growth of paddlesports throughout the Solent in recent years and raised concerns on the potential impact. In 2016, a small working group produced guidelines for the use of Paddlesports to assist local managers.

The Natural Environment Group (NEG) has been set an ongoing action by the SEMS Management Group to conduct this work. It concentrates on waterbased disturbance from paddlesports.  It does not include the impacts from launching of Paddlesports, as this and the associated disturbance is covered by other research on shore based disturbance to birds. A second meeting was held in September 2021 to refine and report on progress.

This work will link with a separate NEG project which seeks to map Solent Intertidal Bird Sensitivity to Disturbance.  This will help prioritise areas where greater understanding of Paddlesports impacts need to be understood.

Latest News

The notes of the second IMP Solent meeting are now available.

The third IMP project group meeting is planned for Spring 2022. 

The current focus of work is understanding the incidence of Paddlesports and a methodology has been designed by Chichester Harbour Conservancy for survey work.  Surveys began in October 2021 and will continue for at least two years.  Interim results are expected in Spring 2022.

Project Tracking

The Project Group track and report on the project progress, this document is periodically updated.