Poole harbour catchment information
The Poole Harbour catchment is one of three sub catchments in Dorset, located in the south west of England. The main rivers flowing into the Harbour include the Rivers Frome, Piddle, Sherford and Corfe and when combined with all of their tributaries cover a total land area of around 820 km2.
Both the Frome and Piddle rivers are located in picturesque rural catchments. Their nationally recognised chalk streams/rivers are important for the salmon and trout fishing. Both rivers rise in the Dorset Downs and flow through the chalk lands and across clay and gravel deposits to enter Poole Harbour.
There are many smaller streams that drain over the tertiary beds near Poole Harbour, these include the River Sherford and Wareham Forest Stream. The urban area of Poole is located to the north of the Harbour and is heavily populated. The coastal town of Wareham is located to the west of the harbour, and the Isle of Purbeck area lies to the south west of the harbour.
Environment and landscape
The area contains many sites of local, regional, national and international importance, with a range of habitats supporting a variety of species.
A substantial proportion of the area is within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which works in partnership to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of almost half of Dorset's countryside (1128km2).
A large part of the catchment is also within the Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area (NIA) which is being led by the AONB. The NIA is trialling a partnership approach to deliver enhanced wildlife habitats and community engagement at a landscape scale. It covers the lower part of the catchment but will promote land management advice and habitat creation throughout the Poole Harbour catchment.
Tourism is one of the predominant industries in Dorset, one of the primary reasons tourists are drawn to Dorset is the attractiveness of the county's coast and countryside.