The Solent Forum

Working in partnership for the future

State of the Solent: Indicators for the 'health' of the Solent

State of the Solent: Edition 3, 2011

  1. Physical Environment and climate change
  2. Nature Conservation
  3. Transport / Ports and Shipping
  4. Environmental Quality
  5. Marine Industries
  6. Natural Resources
  7. Recreation and Tourism
  8. Safety and Emergency Planning
  9. Human Settlement, Land Use and Management
  10. Coastal Risk Management (available on request, large file size)
  11. Historic Heritage and Maritime Archaeology


We have ever higher expectations when it comes to information. We expect it to be available 24/7, free, high quality, relevant – and, above all, up to date (preferably real time!). Against this background it is refreshing to come across an information source that we can welcome as being available, high quality, highly relevant, free . . . and mature! The indicators that have been chosen to represent the State of the Solent in this most recent update do indeed reflect the recent past, but even on this timescale their true value lies in their power to provide a comparison. It is the long-term time series and the trend that increasingly yield the management strength of this data set. We shouldn’t take this for granted - very few other parts of the UK coast can offer such a significant set of historic data against which to judge the present.

Our good fortune in the Solent and surrounding waters is entirely attributable to the foresight of those within the Solent Forum who originally launched this service and those who had the commitment to retain it as one of the Forum’s core functions. The coastal partnerships, of which the Solent Forum is one, have many roles amongst which the provision of management- and policy-relevant information is a high priority. By looking at this sequence of indicators captured by the State of the Solent surveys, you can identify the trends and draw your own conclusions – and therein lies another of the distinctive characteristics of the Forum: it does not judge! Its task is to provide a context within which information can be accessed and its significance can be debated. Whether you like what the indicators tell you about the State of the Solent will depend on your viewpoint, your interests and your values – but you can hardly fail to be interested, impressed and grateful to those who have assembled this information to you. We hope very much that it serves and supports you effectively.

Mike Clark
Chair, the Solent Forum, July 2011

Report Background

To date the following work has been carried out on the State of the Solent (SOS) reports and subsequent development of a set of coastal sustainability indicators for the Solent.

Indicator Collection Methodology for State of the Solent: Edition 3

Presentation of the indicators

Each indicator sheet includes information on: