Langstone Harbour (SSSI, SAC, SPA and Ramsar) intertidal mudflat and sandflat condition assessment survey was carried out as part of 6 year assessment.
In total 180 cores were acquired for benthic faunal analysis and 60 samples collected for particle size analysis from three sites: Newtown Harbour SSSI, Langstone Harbour SSSI, and Ryde Sands and Wootton Creek SSSI. Given the varying nature of sediment composition, the intertidal areas within the SSSIs were found to be reasonably diverse, with some impoverished areas. Abundance of individuals was relatively high, but most deriving from a relatively small number of taxa, with the majority of taxa present in low abundance. Benthic invertebrate communities were therefore relatively rich, but not evenly distributed across sampling stations.
The overall condition assessment found that the condition of the SSSIs has remained similar to that recorded in previous surveys; however, confidence in the assessment is limited due to a lack of suitable historic data. Consequently, the current assessment enables a broad indication of condition based on previous data currently available, but going forward it provides more detailed quantitative baseline data and biotope mapping outputs for each SSSI for future condition assessments.