Dean, R. 1996 The introduction of buffer strips
to control agricultural pollution of the Fleet lagoon.
No evidence to suggest pollution from agricultural
sources, but indicators to suggest it could be.
Land use adjacent to the Fleet is mainly for dairy
cattle grazing or arable rotations. Fleet hinterlands
are mainly Oxford and Kimmeridge clays, cornbrash
and Forest marble according to warden of Chesil
and Fleet Nature Reserve). Fields have steep gradients
leading down to the shores. Shoreline is colonised
by gorse, blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Hawthorn
(Crataegus monogyna), bramble (Rubus fruticosa),
Elder (Sambucus nigra) and many grasses.
A few areas support saltmarsh vegetation. Land use
varies along the Fleet from Ferry Bridge to the
Tidmoor ranges (~5 km) are small fields for grazing
of cattle and horses, some cut for hay, unchanged
since the 19th century. Tidmoor ranges (MOD) are
ungrazed and not managed for agriculture since the
last century, the grassland being now encroached
by gorse. From the ranges to Abbotsbury, the land
is mainly used for intensive agriculture (arable
and dairy). Non-intensively managed fields from
Ferry Bridge to the western end of the Tidmoor ranges
already have large areas between the fields and
the edge of the lagoon. Intensively managed fields
have been cultivated right to the margins of the
Fleet. Dorset Heritage coastal footpath runs along
the landward side of the Fleet.
No data on nutrient status of the Fleet, save NRA
monitoring of tributaries. Reported pollution of
tributaries of the Fleet, leading to loss of Ruppia
and Zostera and occurrence of algal blooms,
citing Elton, D 1991 (The Fleet and Chesil Beach
Management Plan, Report to Ilchester Estate).
Mentions study by E.H. John, 1995 A study of the
nutrient status, hydrographical features and phytoplankton
composition of the Chesil Fleet, Dorset. University
of Wales, Swansea (not in FSC archive). She suggests
in this report that Athe
nutrient levels of the Fleet waters do have a significant
effect on the plankton population, and that nutrient
enrichment in the Abbotsbury embayment supported
the development of two algal blooms. She expresses
concerns that eutrophication within the Fleet is
damaging the lagoonal fauna.
Buffer strips for reduction of nutrient inputs
from agricultural sources to the Fleet are recommended
as a secondary conservation practice (after reduction
of inputs at source). Their effectiveness will need
to be monitored. Many fields along the Fleet have
tiled field drains installed [report does not say
which ones do], which will reduce the effectiveness
of the buffer strips and lead to nutrient input
direct to tributaries of the Fleet.