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Hurst Spit to Lymington Flood and Coastal Risk Management Strategy

The New Forest National Park faces a number of complex and wide-ranging issues as climate change is likely to have significant impacts on the special qualities of the National Park in the years and decades to come.

Our partners – the Environment Agency, New Forest District Council, Hampshire County Council and Natural England, are involved in planning a long-term sustainable future for the just over nine miles (15 km) of coastline between Hurst Spit and Lymington.

Rising sea levels as a result of climate change will not only increase risk of flood and erosion of property, infrastructure and low-lying land, but will also have an impact on the surrounding protected landscape, habitats, the species they support, heritage assets such as Hurst Castle and recreational activities.

The aim of the strategy is to recommend options to manage flood and erosion risk that are sustainable and adaptive in the long term. It will focus on the next 100 years, with the aim of having a completed and approved strategy by summer 2026.

The development of the strategy is extremely complex, as it must take into consideration internationally designated habitats including low-lying sections of environmentally designated saltmarsh, mudflats and vegetated shingle which characterise the area and are of international importance. The area is also rich in cultural and historical heritage including Hurst Castle.

For these reasons the area attracts numerous visitors and recreational users for activities such as walking and sailing. These factors along with the beautiful landscape and natural processes will be a key consideration of the strategy.

The strategy is a chance to help manage the change for the better and an opportunity to protect, strengthen and enhance the environment in this area for future generations. For more information, please visit


National Park member


'Nature recovery is key to tackling the climate crisis.'

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