The Solent Disturbance & Mitigation Project. Phase II – results of the Solent household survey.

Fearnley, H., Clarke, R. T. and Liley, D., 2011. The Solent Disturbance & Mitigation Project. Phase II – results of the Solent household survey. Project Report. Wareham: Solent Forum.

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Abstract

This report sets out the results of the postal household survey component of the Solent Disturbance and Mitigation project. The work was commissioned by the Solent Forum in response to concerns over the impact of recreational pressure on features of the Solent SPA, SAC and Ramsar Sites. Of particular concern are the cumulative impacts of recreational use arising from potential new housing developments in Chichester District and South Hampshire. The household survey was distributed to 5000 households within 25km of the coastline between Hurst Castle, including the north shoreline of the Isle of Wight. The questionnaires and reminders were sent between October and December 2010. The household survey contained three sections which elicited information relating to general and specific visits to the coast and household demographics. A total of 1382 completed questionnaires were returned and 42% of these households had visited the coast the week prior to completing the survey. Only 4% of households (56) stated they never visited the coast. Households which did not visit the coast contained a lower number of people, lower number of dogs and a higher percentage did not have regular access to a private vehicle when compared to households that made regular coastal visits. Of the households which visited the coast, 50% visited at least once a week. A total of 55% of households visited the coast equally all year and an additional 39% of households made more visits in the summer. There was a significant difference in coastal visit frequency between households which owned a least one dog and non dog owning households, with dog owning households making more visits. There was no significant difference in visit frequency between households who had garden access or whether the household dwelling type was a flat or ‘non- flat’. The 1155 households providing full responses to the survey made an estimated annual total of 153,433 visits to the Solent coastline. The project and this survey divided the coastline into 103 numbered sections. Households made on average 133 annual coastal visits to 3.7 different sections of the coastline. On average each section received a total of 1490 annual visits but the number of coastal visits made to different sections was significantly different. The most frequently given activities undertaken during a coastal visit were walking (20% of all activity responses) and enjoying the scenery (20%), followed by being on the beach (11%) and meeting up with friends (11% of all activity responses). Households indicated where they undertook their activity during the coastal visit and for 47% of the visit responses the activity (walking, cycling, enjoying the scenery etc) was undertaken on the sea wall or the river bank. A further 39% of responses by households indicated they venture onto the beach/mudflat and 15% of responses actually took to the water. The majority (52%) of coastal visits by households were made by car with 39% made by foot, 4% by bicycle and 5% by public transport. Of the households which made visits by car, 50% travelled 9.5km or less by road to the section they visited and 90% travelled 29.0km or less to their visited section by road. Of the households who visited specific sections by foot half lived within 1.0km of the section (straight line distance from postcode to nearest point on section) and 90% lived within 4.0km of the visited section. Features that act as a deterrent for some households when selecting a coastal location to visit may also attract other households. For example, a requirement for dogs to be on leads and the presence of dog restrictions is rated as attractive to non dog owning households but as a deterrent by dog owning households. By far the most popular attractive feature when households choose which coastal location to visit was ‘sea views and attractive scenery’ followed by ‘feel safe’, ‘ability to do a range of different walks/routes ‘and the ‘presence of wildlife’. Predictions were derived by fitting formal statistical models to the observed (household survey) data. Specifically these models used observed visitor numbers per section per distance band and analysed these in relation to factors representing distance to section and section characteristics. Different models are presented within the report and separate models were generated for car and foot visitors, with each model showing a declining visitor rate with distance from the section – i.e. the further away people live the fewer visits they make. These models suggest some 52 million visits are made each year, by households within a 30km radius of the coastline between Hurst Castle to Chichester Harbour, including the north shore of the Isle of Wight. The models identify Portsmouth’s seafront (South Parade Pier to Fort Cumberland) as the most heavily visited coastal section, with over 3 million household visits per annum. These predictive visit models will be used alongside the bird models, commissioned separately and subject to a further report, to assess the impacts of disturbance to wintering birds under different housing scenarios. The use of the visitor models and how they will link to the bird models within the next stages of the Solent Disturbance and Mitigation Project are discussed.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Geography and Environmental Studies
Group:School of Applied Sciences
ID Code:19945
Deposited By:Professor Ralph Clarke
Deposited On:23 Apr 2012 15:53
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 15:55

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