A weekend snapshot has been taken of the Solent.

Academics are trying to quantify exactly how busy the Solent is. A helicopter took aerial photos of water users between Chichester Harbour and Hurst Castle over the weekend of the 13 and 14 June and the images will now be used to assess exactly how the Solent is used. Meanwhile 33 researchers roamed the Solent coastline conducting face-to-face interviews.

Marinas, water activity centres and sailing clubs logged details of their facilities use and watersport participation during the two days.

Ian Harris, head of Maritime Leisure Management at Southampton Institute, said that the study hoped to show how many people are using the Solent, and what reasons people have for not using it.

ÔIs there an issue of overcrowding or a shortage of moorings? Are access points adequate?Õ he asked.

Future water audits will be held to gauge changes of usage.