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Solent European Marine Sites (SEMS)

The Solent contains seven international nature conservation sites: a maritime Special Area of Conservation (SAC); three Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and three Ramsar sites. These designations have varying levels of overlap. The areas within these designations that lie below Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT) have become known collectively as the Solent European Marine Sites (SEMS). The illustrative map shows the areas of the SACs, SPAs and Ramsar sites that are included in the SEMS.


For definitive boundary designations please use Defra's online Magic Map. More detailed information on specific sites and their reason for designation is available on Natural England's Designated Sites System.


DESIGNATIONS

Solent Maritime Special Area of Conservation

The Solent Maritime SAC has been selected for the following habitats:

Special Protection Areas and Ramsar sites

There are three Special Protection Areas and three Ramsar sites within the Solent.

The Solent and Southampton Water SPA and Ramsar site boundaries differ in places, however the boundaries for the Portsmouth Harbour and Chichester and Langstone Harbour SPA and Ramsar sites are concurrent.

Chichester and Langstone Harbours SPA/Ramsar

Chichester and Langstone Harbours SPA has been selected for the following:

Chichester and Langstone Harbours Ramsar site has been selected for the following:

Solent and Southampton Water SPA/Ramsar

Solent and Southampton Water SPA has been selected for the following:

Solent and Southampton Water Ramsar site has been selected for the following:

Portsmouth Harbour SPA/Ramsar

Portsmouth Harbour SPA has been selected for the following:

Portsmouth Harbour Ramsar site has been selected for the following:

A further marine SAC is present adjacent to the SEMS, known as South Wight Maritime SAC. This has been selected for intertidal and subtidal reefs, vegetated sea cliffs and sea caves. A separate management scheme is being progressed for the South Wight Maritime SAC. There is an area of overlap between the SEMS and the South Wight SAC at Bembridge and it will be important that this is taken into account during the production of both management schemes.