Dog walkers' views wanted

Dog walker on marshland

Published Tuesday 23 February 2016

People who walk dogs on the Solent coast are being asked to share their likes and dislikes about dog walking in a new online survey.

The survey is being carried out by the Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership (SRMP) to build a detailed picture of the way different groups enjoy their time at the coast. The survey aims to find out what dog walkers like about the coast, and what they look for in the places they choose to visit, enabling the Partnership to develop initiatives to help people and wildlife live side by side on the coast. Initiatives might include creating new dog walking areas closer to where people live or enhancing existing greenspaces with features such as dog agility trails. 

The Partnership was established a year ago by the area's local authorities and conservation bodies. It aims to help people use the coast in ways that do not disturb the thousands of birds which feed and roost in this internationally important wildlife area. The Partnership's work is funded by developer contributions in association with planning permissions for new housing.

The Partnership wants to hear from everyone who dog walks on the Solent coast - between Hurst Castle near Lymington and West Wittering, including Chichester, Portsmouth and Langstone Harbours and on the Isle of Wight coast between Colwell (near Freshwater) and  Bembridge. The questionnaire is available until 31 March at:

Commenting on the survey, Partnership Chairman Councillor Seán Woodward said "The Partnership recognises how valuable dog walking is and the many benefits of dog ownership. I would encourage all dog walkers to take part in the survey before the end of March. The views expressed well help councillors to decide later this year on the initiatives which should be implemented."


Notes for editors

The Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership comprises the fifteen Solent local authorities, Natural England, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, and Chichester Harbour Conservancy.

The local authorities are: Chichester District Council, East Hampshire District Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, Fareham Borough Council, Gosport Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Havant Borough Council, Isle of Wight Council, New Forest District Council, New Forest National Park Authority, Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council, South Downs National Park Authority, Test Valley Borough Council, Winchester City Council.

More information about the Partnership can be seen at: 

Further information

Stuart Roberts, Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership Initiation Officer
Tel: 023 9283 4164 Email:

Media enquiries: Sion Donovan, Senior Communications Officer, Hampshire County Council
Tel: 01962 847115 Email: 

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