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5.2.5 Poole Harbour: Ecosystem Services Assessment

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As stated, Poole Harbour is used extensively by the public for a wide range of leisure and recreational activities, with over twenty recreational activities occurring in and around the harbour. Recreation is clearly a significant use and economic activity both locally and within the Dorset area. Despite this, the number of recreational visitors and the value of recreation to the local economy have never been quantified.

The Poole Harbour Ecosystem Services Assessment focused on the valuation, in monetary and non-monetary terms, of the cultural benefits of recreation supported by the harbour’s marine ecosystem.

Furthermore, the relationship between the recreational activities and reliance on ecosystem services within the harbour is currently not well understood. This was the starting point for the VALMER Ecosystem Services Assessment coordinated by the Dorset County Council and Dorset Coast Forum (DCC / DCF).

As stated by the case study coordinator, this information was felt to be key: “we knew this was a gap in knowledge that we wanted to get values for”.

The study focused on generating new data for  six popular water-based activities which frequently occur in the harbour : kitesurfing, windsurfing, bird watching, jet skiing, water skiing and kayak/canoeing. 

The stated aim for this Ecosystem Services Assessment was to identify and understand the monetary value, priorities that users place on the natural attributes of the harbour, and opinions on management of their activity.

5 2 5   Poole   View to Brownsea Island2

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