The Langstone Harbour Board works hard to protect and enhance the internationally important habitats and species that are found within its jurisdiction. The environmental designations placed upon Langstone Harbour mean that the Harbour Authority has numerous important obligations to manage the Harbour environment in accordance with the Habitats Regulations and the Birds Directive, whereby Harbour activities must be regulated to minimise disturbance and monitored to demonstrate compliance. The Board is an active member of the management group for the SEMS, and promotes conservation and interpretation of the natural environment through partnership programmes for projects such as Harbour signage and habitat improvement.
The Langstone Harbour Board monitor the Harbour’s seal, fish and bird populations, consult on all planning proposals on or near the Harbour and promote higher standards of water quality. The Board is bound by legislation to promote biodiversity whilst undertaking all activities, and takes pride in protecting Langstone Harbour’s natural resources for future generations.
Langstone Harbour is of course also an important area for water borne recreation, with a number of sailing clubs and a marina dotted around its shoreline. A watersports centre on the western shore teaches local people the skills needed for dinghy sailing, kayaking and windsurfing. The University of Portsmouth rowing team, and the Langstone Harbour Waterskiers Association also use the tranquil waters of Langstone Harbour.
A small fleet of commercial fishing vessels operate in Langstone Harbour, harvesting fish and shellfish depending on the season, and many anglers fish from the shore.
The Harbour also supports two marine aggregate wharves, which take delivery of over 300,000 tonnes annually of sand and gravel for use in the building industry. Material imported through Langstone Harbour is dredged from extraction areas in the Solent and supplied on vessels of up to 2,000 Gross Tons throughout the year.
With a little bit of consideration, this diverse range of Harbour users can work in harmony with the wildlife, keeping Langstone Harbour special for future generations to enjoy.
KEY INITIATIVES WITHIN THE HARBOUR
Langstone Harbour is a magical place for wildlife. Despite bordering a major city, the Harbour is a tranquil and largely undisturbed place that provides an important refuge for an astonishing variety of animals and plants. The Harbour is host to a diverse range of habitats, including intertidal mudflats, Seagrass meadows, and Atlantic saltmarsh. These habitats provide feeding grounds and refuge for internationally important assemblages of wildfowl and wading birds, perfect conditions for a Bass nursery, and even a haul out site for a small colony of Harbour Seals.
Thanks to work undertaken by Hampshire County Council, Havant Borough Council, and Portsmouth City Council in conjunction with the Langstone Harbour Board it is now possible to walk around the entire perimeter of Langstone Harbour, following the “Langstone Harbour Waterside Walk”. Waymarkers clearly mark the 14 mile route, which can be completed in its entirety in 5 or 6 hours, depending on your pace.
The Langstone Harbour Board takes water quality extremely seriously. Although not designated as a bathing water, the Environment Agency routinely tests the Harbour water for parameters including bacterial and heavy metal content. The Environment Agency is also responsible for investigating any pollution incidents which may occur in Langstone Harbour.
LOOK AFTER LANGSTONE
WASTE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
Easy access, a variety of managed wildlife reserves and a diverse range of wildlife to observe year round, make Langstone Harbour a great place to learn about nature for children and adults of all ages.
A number of the organisations working around Langstone Harbour hold environmental events throughout the year, including bird watching sessions at Farlington Marshes with the Hampshire Wildlife Trust and guided walks with the Friends of Langstone Harbour. Details can be found on our Events pages.
It is the responsibility of everyone who uses and visits Langstone Harbour to take care of this important environmental resource. Litter, pollution and disturbance can all have a devastating effect on wildlife, and in most cases are a criminal offence. The Langstone Harbour Board, as well as many other organisations, strives to protect and enhance the Harbour’s ecological environment so that it remains a safe and productive sanctuary for wildlife, and a beautiful and restful place for people.