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Environmental sites
There is an existing quiet zone lying to the south of a line from Patchins Point to South Haven Point where there is an advisory speed limit of 6 knots. This area allows yachtsmen and other recreationalists a quiet anchorage in which to enjoy the beauty of the southern harbour without the bustle associated with the northern channels.

The provision of this quiet area has helped to reduce adverse impacts on the flora and fauna of the undeveloped mudlfats and shallow inlets which characterise much of the southern shores. Many of the redshanks which nest in Poole Harbour do so in the saltmarsh of this area. The Quiet Area is a ‘safe haven’ for birds and wildlife as well as for humans. It is intended to maintain the current policy against changes in land use and excessive recreational activity. Personal Watercraft have their own area exempt from the speed limit and are not allowed in the quiet area.

River Frome
The Environment Agency (the 'Agency') works to protect and improve the environment in England and Wales through the integrated management of air, land and water. This involves regulating industry, reducing pollution and waste, protecting wildlife habitats, providing defence from flooding, managing water resources and promoting water-based recreation.

The Agency's work contributes to the Government's sustainable development strategy and is aimed at improving the quality of life for present and future generations.

Some of the activities undertaken by the Agency in the vicinity of Poole Harbour include:

  • Monitoring of water quality in the Harbour to assess compliance with a number of European Directives including the Shellfish Waters and the Bathing Waters Directives;
  • Partner in the construction of the Poole Town Quay flood alleviation scheme;
  • Monitoring river flow in the River Frome and River Piddle, both of which flow into the Harbour; and
  • Enforcing the four-knot speed limit along the River Frome downstream of Wareham.

To find out if your home or business is in the floodplain and, if it is, how to protect your family and property, ring the Agency's Floodline 0345 988 1188 or log on to www.environment-agency.gov.uk

If you see anybody fly-tipping or polluting land or water, ring the Agency's free, 24-hour emergency hotline 0800 80 70 60.

For general enquiries, ring 03708 506 506 this will connect you directly to your local Agency office.

The local office for Poole Harbour is the South Wessex Area Office in Blandford.

Rivers House
Sunrise Business Park
Higher Shaftesbury Road
Blandford Forum
Dorset DT11 8ST

If you want to know more about the Agency or just wish to browse through a host of environmental information visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Poole Bridges Timetable
Please contact Bridge Control 01202 676 531.

Holes Bay Quiet Area
North of Poole lifting bridge the channel runs up to Cobbs Quay. In this area there is a mandatory speed limit of 6 knots. Take particular care that your wash does not cause inconvenience or damage to other users.

Baiter Public Slipway
Parking, including boat launching and daily Harbour Dues:

8.00am to midnight £10.80
After 2.30pm to midnight £9.30
Not suitable for launching deep draft vessels, and please check the state of tide before launching.

Hourly rates for car parking only. Car Park locked from midnight to 6am. No overnight parking permitted.

North Channel/Moorings
Small craft are encouraged to use this channel when convenient. It is not used for larger ships except in an emergency.

Middle Ship Channel
This runs from the ferry port to the Harbour Entrance.

Middle Ship Small Boat Channel
This channel runs alongside and immediately to the south of the Middle Ship Channel. Small craft should use the small boat channel whenever possible and keep out of the shipping channel when occupied by a larger vessel.

Perenco UK
The Furzey Squirrel, motorised barge, plies back and fore to Furzey Island carrying stores for the Perenco Oil Field.

East Looe Channel
The East Looe Channel is well marked with buoys, but should only be attempted in favourable tidal and weather conditions.

Hook Sands
The Hook Sands can be hazardous. Avoid crossing them unless you have intimate local knowledge.

Swash Channel
The Swash Channel is well marked by pairs of buoys and dredged to a minimum depth of 7.5 metres below Chart Datum.

Swash Small Boat Channel
This channel runs alongside and immediately to the south of the Swash Channel. Wherever possible small craft should navigate in the small Boat Channel, especially when commercial shipping is using the main channel.

Harbour Limit
The seaward boundary of the 10 knot speed limit is an area 1400 metres from South Haven Point, but remember there is also a 5 knot speed limit within 200 metres of Poole and Bournemouth beaches.

Approach to Poole
If approaching from the Solent, the entrance is identifiable from the high cliffs of Anvil Point. When nearer, the rocks of Old Harry (Handfast Point) are clearly visible. The Swash Channel is clearly marked.

When leaving for, or approaching from west, beware of the race at Handfast Point on the ebb tide. The Harbour is accessible at all states of the tide and is only dangerous in very strong S and SE winds, particularly on the ebb tide. The entrance channel ‘The Swash’ passes between the Training Bank on the western side and Hook Sands to the east. Be careful of the Chain Ferry, just at the entrance, as the ebb can run 3 to 4 knots.

Useful telephone numbers

In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard

RNLI Boathouse - 01202 665 607

Coastguard - 0344 382 0651

Poole Harbour Commissioners
Switchboard - 01202 440200
Harbour Master - 01202 440233
Town Quay Berthing - 01202 649488
Harbour Control - 01202 440230

Radio Frequencies
Calling and Distress
- Channel 16
Harbour Control - Channel 14

Fire and Rescue
In emergency dial 999

Non-emergency numbers:
Police 101
Doctor 111
Dentist 111
Poole Hospital 01202 665 511
Chemist (Hamworthy) 01202 678 011

Bournemouth Int. Airport - 01202 364000
Dolphin Taxi 01202 777879
National Rail / SW Trains - 03457 48 49 50
Tourist Information - 0845 234 5560
Border Force (previously Customs)
01202 634 555 / 01202 579 233
Wilts & Dorset Bus - 01202 673555
Condor Ferries - 01202 207 207
Brittany Ferries - 0330 159 7000

Marine Fuel
Cobbs Quay 01202 674 299
Corralls (at Poole Bridge – diesel only) 01202 669 092
Parkstone Bay Marina 01202 747 857
Salterns Marina 01202 709 971

Solent Harbours
Beaulieu - 01590 616200
Bembridge - 01983 872828
Chichester - 01243 512301
Cowes - 01983 293952
Hamble - 01489 576387
Langstone - 01292 463419
Littlehampton - 01903 721215
Lymington - 01590 672014
Newport - 01983 525994
Newtown - 01983 521424
Poole - 01202 440233
Portsmouth City - 02392 292391
Portsmouth - 02392 723124
Southampton - 01703 330022
Weymouth - 01305 266278
Yarmouth - 01983 760321