Vegetated Shingle Study, Hurst Spit

New Forest District Council: £5,000 (2017-2018)

Hurst Spit © English Nature

Located within the New Forest National Park, Hurst Spit is included within a plethora of national, European and international nature conservation designations. The type and extent of the specialised vegetated shingle species recorded include strandline communities through to more stabilised open shingle habitats and areas of shingle saltmarsh.

Hurst Spit is a highly managed beach, with an approved programme of ongoing maintenance and beach recycling operations to continue to provide effective flood risk management for the western Solent. The impact of these activities and storms on the vegetated shingle communities has not been assessed, although field observations suggest disturbance could promote regeneration and growth of vegetated shingle through seed dispersal.

The main aim of the project is to establish the response of vegetated shingle species to beach management activities and storm events at Hurst Spit. A combination of aerial photography digitising and vegetated shingle surveys will establish the response of the habitat since 2013. The project will continue into 2018, with aerial photography/topographic data being collected via a UAV, supported by further vegetated shingle surveys.

The findings and methodology will be applicable to development of a future beach management scheme at Hurst Spit, as well as other Beach Management Plan sites across the SCOPAC region.

Final Report 2018

Authors: Lauren Burt, Catherine Eastick and Peter Ferguson

Bournemouth groyne field: comparison of the performance of lesser used species (LUS) at Bournemouth against previous laboratory-based research

Assessing the dynamics of vegetated shingle: Hurst Spit case study 2013-2017

Final Report, May 2018
PDF (3Mb) / New Forest District Council

The final report has been reviewed by Natural England who are supporting of the method and analysis applied.

Presentation to SCOPAC November 2019

Lauren Burt, New Forest District Council

Lauren’s presentation is also available to download as a PDF (2Mb)