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 squeezed against 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. This new habitat must be reinstated in order to enable future coastal defence schemes in the area to progress.
The Hook Lake Coastal Management Study will look to maximise the potential benefits for both local people and wildlife to ensure that Hook Lake remains a special place. Through the study Coastal Partners will explore the potential for creating new habitats, look at wider recreation opportunities and develop preliminary designs for a scheme.
Coastal Partners is a partnership between Fareham Borough Council, Gosport Borough Council, Havant Borough Council, and Portsmouth City Council. The partnership has coastal engineers from each authority working in one team to manage 162km of coastline across the Eastern Solent.