Climate change impacts - long-term sustainable solutions for Hurst Spit to Lymington

The impacts of climate change on the Hurst Spit to Lymington frontage are causing growing pressures on the coastline. The Strategic Outline Business Case (SOC) we're delivering aims to identify a long-term strategic sustainable solution to manage these impacts.


The study area is recognised as being highly sensitive, with a range of inter-tidal, saline and freshwater habitats designed under National (SSSIs), European (SPAs and SACs) and International (Ramsar) legislation. The impact of any option to the European designated intertidal habitats in front of, and saline/freshwater habitats behind, the existing defences is a fundamental factor in decision-making. This is balanced by a realisation that we cannot continue to maintain defences in perpetuity with the available funding and a drive for longer-term sustainability and carbon reduction.


By carrying out an ecosystem services assessment alongside the direct flood loss assessment we have been able to consider, quantify and monetise the wider socio-economic, environmental and amenity impacts of the proposals, whilst being able to predict the extent of habitat creation within the options. We’re also exploring more natural ways of managing the coastline in light of the heavily managed existing defences.

Given the interest in the area, stakeholder engagement is a key component of this project. A Stakeholder Advisory Group (StAG) has been set up to help shape the direction of the project by feeding into project objectives, vision and optioneering.


Our experience from working on the Hurst Spit to Lymington SOC provides us with an in-depth understanding of both the technical and local issues. Our technical work in understanding the performance of Hurst Spit and its influence on the local hydrodynamic regime provides us with a firm grounding into the dominant processes in the area and the issues associated with this stretch of coastline. The project includes a detailed study of the implications of the proposals on the Habitat Regulations and the development of mitigation and/or compensation required to successfully deliver the next stage of the business case.

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Want to know more?

For more information about this project email Alec Dane.


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