Hamble Estuary Partnership

Previous initiatives

Examples of previous initiatives that have benefitted from the co-ordinated approach of HEP members include.

Addressing runoff from the M27 road bridge

The M27 motorway bridge, when constructed in the 1970s, was not fitted with runoff interceptors, therefore any surface liquids on the motorway drain directly into the river rather than being diverted into an alternative drainage or storage system. The ongoing run off from the M27 is not resulting in the river failing water quality standards; but elevated heavy metal concentrations have been noted in the mudflats under and adjacent to the bridge. However, it is the threat of a large-scale spill that most concerns the members of the partnership. The Highways Agency has installed pollution response equipment, but the concern remains. The Chairman of the HEP has been in recent correspondence with the Highways Agency but action is yet to be agreed.

The future management of Bunny Meadows

Bunny Meadows is an area of saltmarsh separated from the main river channel by a raised bank. Water is allowed to flow through the bank via culverts (locally known as ‘‘bunnies’’) on top of which runs a public footpath. The management challenge arises from erosion and overtopping of the raised bank and the potential changes to the ecology of the meadows and the viability (and safety) of the public footpath. Members of the partnership considered that a collective approach to the management of that area was needed. It was also recognised that limited information on the physical processes and management options was available. The partnership will continue to contribute to the work being undertaken by the site’s owners to establish future management approaches to the site


An education sub-group was established to coordinate the development of educational materials relating to the Hamble. Most recognisable are the interpretation boards that are now displayed at various points around the estuary.