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Chesil Beach and the Fleet

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Last updated 10 July 2020

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Japanese seaweed

Sargassum muticum arrived in Britain in 1971 and first appeared around the Isle of Wight. In successive years it spread along the south coast to the Fleet. For some years it dominated the environment despite a number of attempts to limit its impact. It then naturally died back to a much lower level of occupancy in the Narrows and Lower Fleet. Currently the amount of growth is dependent on a number of factors and is highly variable from year to year. For more information see the JNCC website.

Jurassic Coast

A world Heritage Site stretching from Exmouth to Studland Bay and including Chesil Beach and the Fleet. The coast spans 185 million years of geological history and includes the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

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Langton Herring

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A small village close to the Mid-Fleet.

Lerret

A double-ended open fishing boat 16-17 feet long and used for seine net fishing off Chesil Beach. Usually rowed by four people with a fifth to steer and deploy the net. Click here for more information.

Litter

Marine litter is a major problem on Chesil Beach. South-westerly gales bring in a wide range of material, both natural and man-made. Most of this remains on the seaward side of the beach but the lighter plastics blow over into the Fleet, sometimes in large quantities. Regular litter picks are organised by the Chesil Beach Centre to help alleviate this problem. If you are using the area around the Fleet please take your litter home rather than worsening this problem.

Little egret

Egretta garzetta. A medium-size member of the heron family. Pure white plumage and black legs. Until recently this was a very rare visitor to the UK, but is now regularly seen along the shores of the Fleet.

Little tern

Sternula albifrons. Regularly nests on Chesil Beach. This is the smallest of the UK terns and is sometimes known as the sea swallow. It is a migratory bird so is only seen around the Fleet from April to August. Currently the little terns nest at Ferrybridge and following a crash in numbers there is a partnership project managed by the RSPB to aid their recovery.

Littlesea

The open area of water just north of  the Narrows.

Lower Fleet

The Fleet from the Narrows down to Ferrybridge.

Lynch Cove

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The small bay immediately north of the Narrows and adjacent to Littlesea Holiday Park.

Little Egret

Litter on Chesil Beach after a storm