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The Fleet Lagoon and Chesil Beach

Proceedings of the third symposium of the Fleet Study Group


Carr,A.P., Seaward,D.R., Sterling,P.H (Eds). 2000. The Fleet Lagoon and Chesil Beach. Proc. of the third symposium of the Fleet Study Group, held at Melbury House, Dorchester on 16th October 1993. pp111. ISBN 0-952-4022-04.

This book is now out of print but the FSG still have a few hard copies available. The papers can be downloaded by clicking their title.


FitzPatrick, J. The role of the Fleet Study Group

Barnes, R.S.K. The Fleet, Dorset, in relation to other coastal lagoons

Green, E.W.S. The role of the Ilchester Estates

Poole, G.G. The Fleet - an introduction to the physical environment

Carr,A.P. Chesil Beach: recent changes in a longer term context

Coombe,E.D.K. Cored material from the Fleet: some initial inferences

Seaward,D.R. Fleet water temperatures

Whittaker,J.E. The evolution of the Fleet during the last c. 5000 years, based on the evidence of the Foraminifera and Ostracoda

Hartley,B. A preliminary report on diatom samples collected from the Fleet in Dorset

Holmes,N.T.H. Zostera and Ruppia in the Fleet

Eden,S.M. Flowering plants of the shores of the Fleet

Saunders-Davies,A. A preliminary survey of the Rotifera of the Fleet

Pickering,C., Ladle,M. & Sheader,M. Invertebrate faunal studies in the Fleet

Winder,J, Oysters: Their variation in time and space

Eno,N.C. Pacific oyster spatfall monitoring in the Fleet Lagoon as part of the JNCC survey of non-native marine species

Copperthwaite,N. Opportunities, practice and problems of oyster culture in the Fleet

Collins,K.J. & Byfield,V. Monitoring oyster farming in the Fleet: benthic infauna

Fair,J. Factors affecting the numbers of waterfowl on the Fleet (1983-1993)

Elton,D. Management of the Fleet and Chesil Beach: a review of activities and issues

Wagner,J.C. & Wagner,M. The bridging of the Fleet at Smallmouth

Turnbull,M. The Dorset coast

Foreword to the book

Mike Ladle and Doug Young (Written 1996)

This, the third symposium to be held by the Fleet Study Group was convened to celebrate the 50th meeting of the Group and also the 600th anniversary of the Abbotsbury Swannery. In 1993 it was agreed that the Study Group should share its symposium with the annual Marine Forum of the Dorset Trust for Nature Conservation's Marine Committee. The meeting was held on the 16th October 1993 in excellent facilities at Melbury House by the kind invitation of Mrs C. Morrison. The production of this and previous reports would not have been possible without the support of the Dorset County Council and the Institute of Freshwater Ecology.

It is significant that the symposium should have been held in this critical period with regard to marine conservation. There has been a heightening of public awareness on marine matters, Government is showing greater interest, local authorities are certainly more aware of the importance of the marine environment and expressions such as Coastal Zone Management, sustainability, biodiversity and Sensitive Marine Areas are now in common usage and widely understood.

There are still many potential and actual threats to delicately balanced inshore ecosystems. Coastal defence policy is being looked at afresh in the light of global climate change. More licences to explore for oil are being issued, marine aggregate extraction is increasing and the pressures imposed by coastal development, by leisure activities and by commercial use of marine resources are now enormous. The difficulty, of course, is to ensure that a healthy and productive marine environment is sustained in the face of ever growing demands for exploitation and wealth creation.

The Fleet Study Group has always taken the view that management and protection of the Fleet Lagoon and Chesil Beach could best be achieved from a well informed position. This objective has been fostered by encouraging research and co-operation between scientists, conservationist, industry and the public at large.

The DTNC Marine Committee, set up in 1986 to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information relating to the marine environment of the whole of the Dorset coast, has similar aims. The annual discussions of the Committee have so far included Portland Harbour, Poole harbour, the Purbeck Coast, the West Dorset coast and Coastal Zone Management. The Committee is also involved in the management of the prestigious Kimmeridge Marine Reserve.

This report is a unique collation of information about the Fleet Lagoon which, to quote Professor Barnes, 'is in a category all of its own'. The Chesil Beach is also dealt with in depth by the leading authorities on the feature. It is certainly true that, although the current information is far from being the last word on the subject, it will stand for many years as the definitive account of many aspects of the physical, biological and historical features of an area of outstanding national and international value.