Poole Harbour

From Academic Kids

(Redirected from Poole harbour)
Missing image
Poole_harbour_from_hill_less_brownsea,_tree_in_middel_sunney.JPG
View across the harbour in summer

Poole Harbour is a harbour in Dorset, south England. The towns of Poole and Wareham lie on its shores. It is generally accepted as being the second largest natural harbour in the world after Sydney, extending to 36 km². The harbour is a drowned valley formed at the end of the last ice age, and is the estuary of several rivers, the largest being the Frome. The harbour has a long history of human settlement stretching to pre-Roman times. The harbour is relatively shallow, with one main dredged channel through the harbour, from the mouth to Holes Bay in Poole. Once a major port, freight transport has declined, but the port still takes regular cross-Channel passenger ferries.

Template:GBthumb

Contents

History

A 10 metre log boat dated at 295 BC, found preserved in the mud off Brownsea Island, is the earliest known artefact from the harbour. Poole was used by the Romans as an invasion port for the conquest of southern England, who established the settlement at Hamworthy, now the western half of Poole. A Roman Road ran north from Hamworthy to Badbury Rings, a Roman transport hub. At the time of the Norman Conquest Poole was a small fishing village.

The port grew and in 1433 Poole was made Dorset's Port of the Staple for the export of wool. Medieval Poole had trading links from the Baltics to Italy. In the 17th century the town began trading with North America, in particular Newfoundland, and the town became very wealthy. In the 18th century Poole was the principal British port trading with North America. At the start of the 19th century 90% of Poole's population's employment was directly dependent on the harbour, but this dropped to just 20% during the century as the railways reached the town, and deep hulled boats moved up the coast to Southampton, which had a deeper harbour and is closer to London. With regular dredging of a channel through the harbour it has regained some importance.

Geology

|
Missing image
Poole.harbour.overall.arp.jpg
A quiet corner of the harbour, looking south from Brownsea Island

The harbour is in a band of weak gravel and clay which is easily eroded by the rivers and sea. This band is bordered by two bands of chalk, the Purbeck Hills and Isle of Wight to the south, and the Dorset Downs and South Downs to the north. The clay extends west up the Frome valley to Dorchester, and would originally have extended east beyond Portsmouth in Hampshire.

Before the last ice age the River Frome continued to flow east through what is now the Solent, joining the Stour, Beaulieu, Test, Itchen and Hamble, before flowing into the English Channel to the east of the present day Isle of Wight. A relatively resistant chalk ridge ran continuously from the Purbeck Hills to the Isle of Wight, through which the rivers could not break through. When the glaciers of the north of the island of Great Britain melted, the south of England sank slightly, flooding the Solent valley and Southampton Water to form their charactoristic rias (flooded estuaries). Between 7,300 and 7,400 years ago, the increased erosion from the sea and the increased flow caused by the change in the climate broke through the chalk hills cutting the Isle of Wight from the mainland and leaving Poole Harbour as the estuary of the Frome.

Ecology and nature conservation

Missing image
Poole.harbour.condor.arp.jpg
Condor Ferries car ferry passes through the harbour

Much of the north side of the harbour is a built up area, part of Poole, and the conurbation which continues 10 miles eastwards along the coast. The west and south sides of the harbour and part of the Purbeck Heritage Coast and are important wildlife havens, as are the five large islands in the harbour which are home to the rare Red Squirrel. The harbour is an area of international importance for wildlife conservation and borders 3 National Nature Reserves, including the internationally important Studland and Godlingston Heath NNR, and a number of local and non-statutory nature reserves run by organisations such as the National Trust and RSPB. The mouth of the harbour is partially blocked by Sandbanks, a spit on the north, which is built up and part of Poole, and by Studland to the south, which is another important wildlife area. Four rivers drain into Poole harbour, the largest being the River Frome, which flows from the west through Dorchester and Wareham. The harbour is very shallow in places and has extensive mud flat and salt marsh habitats, as well muddy shores, sandy shores and seagrass meadows. The area is an extremely popular recreation and tourism area, and local authorities and organisations have to carefully manage the tourism to prevent damage to the habitats.

The south shore of the harbour, include Wytch Heath and Godlingstone Heath have traditionally been open heathland of little agricultural use. During the 20th century there has been some afforestation with conifer plantations. Around Wareham Forest in the west this has been for commercial forestry, but on the southern shore the plantations conceal the Wytch Farm oil wells.

External links

Template:Oscoor gbx Photographs:

References

  • Clark, G & Thompson, W.H., 1935. The Dorest Landscape. London: A & C Black.
  • Cochrane, C, 1970. Poole Bay and Purbeck, 300BC to AD1660. Dorchester, Longmans.
  • Hutchings, M., 1965. Inside Dorset. Sherborne: Abbey Press.
  • Poole Harbour Commision, The history of Poole Harbour (http://www.abu11.dial.pipex.com/history.htm) (accessed 2004/11/09)
Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools