The Fleet Study Group (FSG) was formed in 1975 with the inaugural meeting held at what was then the Dorset Institute for Higher Education (DIHE), now Weymouth College, when the Natural Environment Research Council(NERC) was setting up working parties for many of the important estuaries around the UK coast, such as the Clyde and Liverpool Bay.
The FSG is a voluntary organisation bringing together scientists and others with an interest in the Fleet, Chesil Beach and Hamm Beach (the Study Area). Membership is by invitation and there are typically 15-20 members with some representing organisations concerned with the study area.
The role of the FSG has evolved over the years with the current objectives being:
The collection, collation and dissemination of scientific, historical and other relevant information about the area
To assemble and maintain an archive of relevant information, both in physical form and as a database
To identify gaps in our knowledge about the study area and to identify topics for future research
To consider the environmental effects of natural and anthropogenic changes
Meetings are usually held three times a year in March, July and November at a variety of locations around the study area. A number of group field activities also take place each year. In the past these field activities have included:
A study of litter on the remote parts of Chesil Beach, What are the types of litter, Where has it come from, how did it get here and is it possible to remove it without destroying the fragile ecosystem?
Multi-disciplinary study, sometimes known as a bio-blitz, of particular parts of the study area
In addition, individual members pursue their own interests in the study area and often report on their findings to the group meetings.
A leaflet describing the Fleet Study Group and its activities has been produced and can be downloaded here