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Studland Bay - what you need to do

Babylon

Well-known member
Joined
7 Jan 2008
Messages
4,129
Location
Solent
Practically speaking...

I'm knackered, sea-sick, just come up from Dartmouth single-handed in a very small yacht, late for the tidal gate, its dark and blowing increasingly hard from the SW etc... I drop the hook in the lee of the headland at the southern end of Studland and fall fast asleep for a few hours until the tide turns fair and I'm rested enough to safely continue on to Hurst in early light, etc.

What then happens? Prosecuted? Criminal record?
 

oldharry

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30 May 2001
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9,269
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North from the Nab about 10 miles
Just done some checking, and it opens a clear line of defence along the lines of your thinking: " The Precautionary Principle: A Fundamental Principle of Law and Policy for the Protection of the Global Environment " https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=http://scholar.google.co.uk/&httpsredir=1&article=1335&context=iclr

"In terms of domestic law, the British Government has acknowledged the existence of the precautionary principle but actually applies a "preventive principle.".... Briefly stated, the aim of the preventive principle is to prevent damage to the environment once the damage is known or proved."

I am, as you know not a Lawyer, and perhaps I could ask one or two of you who are to take a closer look at this. But it seems on the face of it (and this is legalese, and its not a safe assumption that it means what I think it does) but it seems pretty clear to me from this that application of the Precautionary Principle requires some pre-existing burden of proof that damage will occur. This document is fairly old, and the law may have changed since. I cant properly evaluate this, but I think I know a man who can!
 

oldharry

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30 May 2001
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9,269
Location
North from the Nab about 10 miles
Practically speaking...

I'm knackered, sea-sick, just come up from Dartmouth single-handed in a very small yacht, late for the tidal gate, its dark and blowing increasingly hard from the SW etc... I drop the hook in the lee of the headland at the southern end of Studland and fall fast asleep for a few hours until the tide turns fair and I'm rested enough to safely continue on to Hurst in early light, etc.

What then happens? Prosecuted? Criminal record?
I did exactly that some years ago, in a 26 footer. I have put that and various other scenarios to MMO in my submission as part of my section on ' Safety'. I highlighted that the size and conditin of the yacht, and its level fo equipment is no indicator.

A strong fit crew in a good boat will be having a great sail. Identical boat, but crewed by non too fit middle aged couple, lacking experience, tired, seasick etc are heading into serious trouble, quite possibly involving RNLI, HMCG, and SAR units, with potential loss of life and equipment, if denied access to Studland. A mobo, with an engtine running slightly rough, or perhpas a little hotter than normal, can quickly make Studland to check things out, and remove what is very likely a fuel or coolant blockage which would otherwise become disabling with all the attendant risks.

The decision to stop or carry on MUST remain solely with the person in charge on the spot, and there must be NO other pressure or factor in that decision.
 

eddystone

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18 Aug 2013
Messages
1,520
Location
SW Leicestershire
Playing devils advocate you had a choice, ie to go sailing, that led to that situation. Given random events like weather if any recreational sailing could potentially lead to events, in an emergency, where sea grass/seahorses are put at risk clearly then recreational sailing cannot be allowed
 

oldharry

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30 May 2001
Messages
9,269
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North from the Nab about 10 miles
Playing devils advocate you had a choice, ie to go sailing, that led to that situation. Given random events like weather if any recreational sailing could potentially lead to events, in an emergency, where sea grass/seahorses are put at risk clearly then recreational sailing cannot be allowed
This isnt about whether we should or should not take risk. Life is full of it. The question here is how to define the point at which an emrgency afloat should override conservation restrictions. All conservationists say 'of course a boat can anchor in an emergency. Their pereception is black skies, towering waves, lifeboats, and probably a choir singing ''for those in danger on the sea' somewhere in the background! Yes Im being cynical, but the reality we all know is that an emrgency can start in perfect conditions. Whether it develops into a full blown SAR job depends entriely on the inial action of the skipper. We maintain that closing Studand reemoves a vital option on 40 miles of rocky lee shore for resolving things befroe they go out of control. In the 10 years I have been involved I have asked for this defintion. MMO will have to rpovide it if they contemplate restrictions on Studland.
 

Blue Sunray

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20 Jul 2015
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2,350
Dear stakeholder,

Between 28 October and 15 December 2020 the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) held a call for evidence seeking views on the draft Studland Bay Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) marine non-licensable activity assessment.

We are contacting you because you have either responded to the Studland Bay MCZ call for evidence or you have expressed an interest in the MMO's marine protected area work.
Approximately 500 responses were received in the call for evidence, through online surveys or by email, providing valuable information to inform the MMO’s decisions on management to ensure the necessary level of protection for the features of Studland Bay MCZ.

The MMO has reviewed all information received and are proposing the next steps for the management of Studland Bay MCZ:

  • For mooring, powerboating, sailing, diving and snorkelling, no further restrictions will be implemented at this stage.
  • For anchoring, management measures may be required to avoid negative impacts on the site. The MMO will be holding a series of stakeholder events in March 2021 to develop suitable management measures.
Stakeholder feedback from these events will be crucial for the MMO to develop an approach that ensures the necessary level of environmental protection while minimising impacts on people’s use of the sea.

Please await further information about how you can participate in the planned engagement events.

If you no longer want to be contacted about Studland Bay MCZ, please contact
 

oldharry

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North from the Nab about 10 miles

Blue Sunray

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20 Jul 2015
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From: Dorset Coast Forum [mailto:dorset.coast@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk]
Sent: 10 March 2021 17:22
To: Dorset Coast Forum <dorset.coast@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk>
Subject: Studland MCZ Public Engagement Event Invitation - 25th March at 7pm
Good afternoon,


Please register in advance for this public open event by clicking on the link below:
https://zoom.us/.../tJAscu6sqDMoG9EemTQvLOfJJ3_oME0UOWR9

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zoom event.

See www.dorsetcoasthaveyoursay.co.uk for further details.

Kind Regards

Nikki Parker-Goadsby
Dorset Coast Forum Support Officer
Dorset Coast Forum
 

chubby

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Joined
28 Mar 2005
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1,035
Location
hampshire, uk
The zoom event gives the option of submitting questions in advance, is there any consensus on what questions would be helpful to make the case for boat owners without being inflammatory and counter productive?
 

oldharry

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Joined
30 May 2001
Messages
9,269
Location
North from the Nab about 10 miles
Studland Bay MCZ Engagement gives MMOs official response to many of the questions we have, and you need to read this f you plan to attend otherwise they will simply refer you to the 'official' answers!

Areas we can focus on might include:
1. the fact they and NE refer consistently to 'Seagrass' not to the specific Eelgrass which has different characteristics to generic seagrasses. We can also highlight the complete lack of data-based evidenced from the Bay. Virtually the whole of the NE advice is based on 'expert opinion' which does not take in to account the actual conditions present in the Bay. This relates specifically to the claim that excessive anchoring is causing potentially serious damage to the general health of the eelgrass.

2. There is no data lead evidence of this. No comparison with eelgrass within the anchorage against other parts of the Bay which are not subject to anchoring.

3. NAZs will simply increase pressure on other parts of the eelgrass bed, packing the same number of boats in to a smaller space.

3. They say that anchoring in a restricted zone of an MCZ will always be permitted in a 'genuine' emergency. We absolutely MUST have a clear definition of what constitutes an emergency. This has been debated at length recently in this thread, and the answers back from MMO so far are totally unsatisfactory. Traditionally it has been the skippers decision whether a state of emergency exists. To me as a single hander, a delayed passage and the need for rest IS an emergency.

4. We need to introduce more fully the concept of emergency prevention which is at the heart of good seamanship. Studland provides a key bolt hole on 40 miles of hostile lee shore if thing are showing signs of going wrong. Linked to this is the wide range of experience or lack of it found n the boating community. One mans hiccup is another mans emergency.

5. Then there is the grossly underestimated social and economic effects of restrictions in the Bay. See this heading on the BORG website

6. We join with RYA in seeking purely educational Management protocols. This is strongly opposed by many Conservationists, because it does not give them any actual power or control over what happens. There is a growing appreciation of the need to conserve the natural environment. Most responsible people knowing what to avoid, why and where in the Bay will want to comply? BORG, supported by RYA pioneered an educational approach in 2014 with the 'Anchoring with Care' Leaflet. RYA has recently developed that idea, as was my intention when we started this.

8. We could point out that the Boating Community has done more actual work than any conservation group to further seagrass conservation: We initiated an information/education programme for visitors. RYA are carrying out the UK's first experimental re-planting scheme for seagrass in Plymouth. (See the current RYA Mag). We are testing the viability and effectiveness of alternative mooring systems to see what will actually work here and elsewhere.

7. There are no actual studies of the Bay to ascertain what local conditions are affecting the eelgrass. e.g. Unwin and Jones discovery that it has one of the highest nitrate pollution levels in UK (2016 - and still not followed up to my knowledge). Desalination of seawater is known to have an adverse effect on Seagrasses. Studland is in a chalk zone and has many hundreds of fresh water springs in the anchorage. South Beach spring water was the villages' main fresh water supply until 100 years ago! Yet nobody has looked to see what effect this might be having. Turbidity kills eelgrass because it cannot photosynthesise in murky cloudy water, yet no study on the effect of silt washed down from Bournemouth beach replenishment, and PHA dredging operations nearby.

There's lots to ask about....
 

doug748

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Joined
1 Oct 2002
Messages
10,655
Location
UK. South West.
There has been a voluntary no anchor zone on the Helford, off Durgan, for over a decade, It has worked well and depends on several aspects of good management:

1) The availability of good alternative anchoring and mooring facilities very close by.
2) Good signage, well maintained.
3) The goodwill of all. Wide publicity and education.

See here: http://helfordmarineconservation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Newsletter-51-Summer-2017.pdf


One question might be, have they looked at this as a example of good practice?

.
 

Sea-Fever

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Joined
27 Jun 2017
Messages
532
Location
Port Solent
To non-boaters the idea of an exemption for "emergencies" might seem adequate.

My response would be that to remove all the services on M1 and suggest to people they have to drive from one end to the other without stopping would CREATE the emergencies. It is the same for boating. There is no safe way to remove the refuge. The 'emergency' should not be a pre-requisite.
 
Last edited:

Babylon

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7 Jan 2008
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4,129
Location
Solent
To non-boaters the idea of an exemption for "emergencies" might seem adequate.

My response would be that to remove all the services on M1 and to suggest to people they have to drive from one end to the other without stopping would CREATE the emergencies. It is the same for boating. There is no safe way to remove the refuge. The 'emergency' should not be a pre-requisite.
An excellent analogy!

The situation is confused however by the fact that there are - very roughly - two sorts of boaters who use Studland Bay: on the one hand there are the sailing yachts on passage from the Solent towards the West Country (and back), and sometimes cross-Channel, for whom the anchorage is (due obviously to tidal cycles and passage distance/times for slow-moving vessels) a natural resting-place, jumping-off point or refuge; on the other hand it is the short-haul playground destination for all sorts of boats mainly from Poole etc, who (I'm guessing) are in the overwhelming majority on a sunny weekend in the season.

I'm not looking to sow any sort of division between these two categories who use the Bay, but to one group a ban on anchoring would be a significant loss of amenity, whereas to the other it would introduce a serious constraint on safe manageable passages.
 

Sea-Fever

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27 Jun 2017
Messages
532
Location
Port Solent
So maybe cut the bay into North and South...anybody can anchor in the North part but only boats with keels can anchor in the South thus creating a natural safe area for the eelgrass due to the inability of keel boats to go close to the shore.

Solved.
 

Sea-Fever

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27 Jun 2017
Messages
532
Location
Port Solent
Where do boats with lifting keels fit in :)
If the keel is up....you can head North. If it's down, you're allowed South. Has to be a designed keel though. You can't put a plank of wood in the water and claim to be a keel boat.

What's more it's easy to identify where boats are meant to anchor because design specs are publicly available.

Maybe 1.3m draught or something would be a suitable cut off point (there has to be one)

This also works because I suspect the vast majority of motor boats visit during good weather when the North of the bay is tenable.
 

oldharry

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Joined
30 May 2001
Messages
9,269
Location
North from the Nab about 10 miles
There has been a voluntary no anchor zone on the Helford, off Durgan, for over a decade, It has worked well and depends on several aspects of good management:

1) The availability of good alternative anchoring and mooring facilities very close by.
2) Good signage, well maintained.
3) The goodwill of all. Wide publicity and education.

See here: http://helfordmarineconservation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Newsletter-51-Summer-2017.pdf


One question might be, have they looked at this as a example of good practice?

.
I doubt it, but thanks for the heads up. If they didnt know, thet do now!
 

doug748

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Joined
1 Oct 2002
Messages
10,655
Location
UK. South West.
Further to a letter I am putting together for my MP.


I was planning to reprise some information from Natural England, where sites in Plymouth Sound were assessed by them as "satisfactory" in both 2009 and 2012 (see here from YBW 2018: Eel Grass and Anchoring in Cawsand Bay, Cornwall )

Imagine my surprise when I found that these pages were no longer accessible, or easily accessible, to the general public. If anyone took hard copies of these documents or has the skills to open them, it would be most helpful:

2009
publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/4991709209952256
2012
publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/4797619915194368


.
 
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