The Poole Harbour Case Study
Find out more about the Poole Harbour Case Study, Questionnaires and Citizens' Panel results
The Case Study Sites
The VALMER project sets out to test methods in how to value ecosystem services at six case study sites, three on the south-west coast of England and three in France. Ecosystem services can be described as direct and indirect benefits gained by humans from the natural environment e.g. food, climate regulation, recreation, tourism and production of oxygen from plants. Each of the six case studies are focusing on different ecosystem services e.g. recreation, shellfish farming effects on seagrasses, and kelp farming to name a few.
The six cases studies include:
- Poole Harbour
- North Devon
- Plymouth Sound - Fowey
- Gulf of Brittany/Normandy
- Iroise Sea
- Gulf of Morbihan
The Poole Harbour Case Study
The Dorset Coast Forum (DCF) are investigating the monetary and non-monetary benefits derived from the ecosystem service 'recreation', and more specifically six recreational activities taking place in Poole Harbour that use the marine environment; kitesurfing, windsurfing, wildlife watching, canoeing/kayaking, jetskiing and waterskiing/wakeboarding. The Dorset Coast Forum will be undertaking a series of questionnaires over the spring/summer 2013 with people actively engaging in these six activities in Poole Harbour. The survey was officially launched on 14 May 2013 with our Valmer Survey Press Release (word, 14kb) (opens in a new window) .
The Surveys and Questionnaires
The Dorset Coast Forum have formulated a number of questionnaires with colleagues at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (VALMER project partner). These have been designed to capture:
- Economic information about how much people are spending on their trip to Poole Harbour
- People's motivations for coming to Poole Harbour compared to alternative sites
- Management of the site; whether there could be any improvements in how their recreational activity is managed in Poole Harbour and the factors that could affect the frequency of their visit
- General information about their trip; how long they spend doing the activity, what parts of Poole Harbour they use and how often they visit
- Background information in order to form a profile for each activity, for example, age, sex, gender etc.
Many thanks to all those who completed our questionnaire. We received 550 responses in total and are in the process of analysing the results. We have picked the three lucky prize winners and will be officially announcing the winners with the results shortly.
If you have completed the questionnaire please note:
- The results will be made publicly available to allow the findings to be used by local private, public and voluntary organisations to better inform management of recreational activities in the harbour
- All data, including personal data, will be anonymous. The raw data will only be used for the purposes of this study and only seen by the VALMER project partners analysing the results. None of the data provided will be traceable back to the individual respondent
Dorset Citizens' Panel survey
Eight questions relating to the VALMER project were included in the 29th edition of the Dorset Citizens' Panel survey sent out in March 2013.
A total of 3,043 Dorset residents responded to questions asking about their reasons for moving into and remaining in their current home, how they rank characteristics of the natural marine environment and how often they participate in outdoor recreational activities along the Dorset coast and specifically in Poole Harbour.
- Respondents ranked the local natural environment as the second most important reason for moving into their current home in Dorset and the main reason for remaining.
- Overall, respondents ranked wildlife as the most important characteristic of the natural marine environment followed by views across the water and then water quality. Interestingly, when looking at the breakdown of answers within age categories, significantly more respondents aged 25-44 ranked water quality as the most important compared to 45+ year olds, and significantly more respondents aged 75+ ranked the views across the water as the most important compared to 25-64 year olds.
- In the last 12 months, 58% of respondents have been wildlife watching along the Dorset Coast, of which 70% have done so in Poole Harbour
- 14% have undertaken a watersports activity in the last 12 months along the Dorset coast and/or in Poole Harbour. Kayak/canoeing and sailing were some of the most popular activities, with small numbers of respondents going windsurfing, jetskiing and kitesurfing.
How are these results going to be used?
Results from this questionnaire have helped the Dorset Coast Forum understand the importance of the local natural environment, and in particular wildlife, to Dorset residents. It has also given us an idea of how many Dorset residents participate in various recreational activities along the coast. The information gained from this survey along with the six other questionnaires we are currently running will help us to understand the value of recreation as part of the VALMER project.