Chesil Beach and The Fleet

Site overview: This site is located on the south coast of England in Dorset. It is a long, linear shingle beach (Chesil Bank), enclosing a brackish lagoon (the Fleet). The Fleet is extraordinarily rich in wildlife, with communities of aquatic plants and animals. This site also supports large numbers of wintering waterbirds, including the dark-bellied brent goose. In spring and summer, Chesil Bank is an important breeding site for little terns, which feed in the shallow waters of the lagoon.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Special Protection Area
MPA Purpose
areas of the most important habitat for rare (listed on Annex I to the Directive) and migratory birds within the European Union


50° 37' 8" North,
2° 32' 10" West

Surface Area

7.48 km2
(2.89 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins)
  • Salt marshes, Salt pastures, Salt steppes


  • Dark-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla bernicla) (Regularly occurring migratory species)