Guiding principles of Hamble Estuary Partnership

Nature conservation

Encourage and enhance nature conservation interests of the Hamble in a sustainable manner.

  • To ensure that the management of activities is compatible with the Solent European Marine Sites statutory management scheme and where applicable other management initiatives
  • To ensure the sustainability of habitats and species on the river, whilst balancing the interests of nature conservation, commercial and recreational users
  • Reduce damage and disturbance to flora and fauna, particularly on the foreshore, by assessing probable causes and implementation of non-mandatory policies to reduce those causes


Promote safe recreational use of the Hamble and its environs whilst reducing pressures on wildlife.

  • Support access/recreation with innovative voluntary management encouraging the use of recreational areas rather than nature conservation sites
  • Improve provision of information and interpretation in order to provide people with local recreational and nature conservation information as well as educate when necessary
  • Produce a visitors guide to promote local services in order to generate benefit to the local region
  • Encourage water based visits to the River Hamble and develop appropriate facilities

Shore development

Support economic interests whilst maintaining the character of the estuary.

  • To develop a planning strategy which co-ordinates sustainable land and marine-based planning on the estuary, whilst complementing other EMP policies
  • Support the development and viability of marine industries on the river, within the bounds of the statutory local plans.
  • Support development proposals in line with the above strategy


Ensure the safety of navigation within the Harbour area.

  • To carry out statutory obligations to ensure the estuary is navigable and complies with the Port Marine Safety Code
  • To reduce congestion on the river
  • To avoid capital dredging in the river

Fishing and bait collection

Support safe and sustainable fishing practice in the river.

  • To support anglers' access to the river
  • To support the sustainable and safe collection of bait, taking into account the needs of nature conservation


Support the continued use of the river as a centre for sustainable recreational boating, through the effective management of the mooring provision.

  • To continue to offer moorings and support the infrastructure for recreational boat users
  • To reduce congestion on the river
  • To ensure the provision of moorings to a range of boat users and potential boat users, recognising a range of incomes and boat types


Encourage sustainable agriculture.

To support local development policies which seek to encourage sustainable agriculture.


Maintain and enhance the landscape character of the Hamble River.

  • To maintain and enhance the quiet and remote character of the Upper Hamble, the natural character of the undeveloped parts of the river and the native species of the river
  • To maintain and enhance the quiet character of the villages on the river
  • To maintain and enhance the historic character of the river


Help promote and investigate the archaeological and historic heritage of the estuary.

  • To promote the rich archaeological heritage of the river
  • To support the protection of archaeological features and artefacts which are threatened by human intervention, unless they pose a hazard to navigation
  • To support development policies on the river which protect the archaeological heritage of the river by providing information to the planning authorities

Physical processes

Encourage the natural function of the river and shoreline.

  • To support coastal defence which is consistent with the Habitats Directive, retaining a natural shoreline where possible.
  • Discourage any development on greenfield river banks, to protect the natural shoreline
  • To minimise capital dredging in the river
  • To support the needs of boatyards and marinas, to maintain navigable depth within their curtiledges, by promoting an overall maintenance dredging strategy

Pollution and water quality

Improve and thereafter maintain the water quality of the river, whilst reducing and preventing pollution.

  • Promote increased awareness of water quality and pollution threats within the River Hamble water catchment area
  • Develop and promote best practice amongst boatyards and river users with regard to pollution prevention
  • To reduce pollution in the estuary
  • Review existing levels of water quality testing and methodology, as well as subsequent enforcement measures