Making the most of the Dorset coast

iCoast, a unique and innovative website that allows anyone to plan an array of coastal and water activities in Dorset, launches on Thursday 26 May 2011.

Created as part of the EU-funded C-SCOPE project, iCoast (www.icoast.co.uk) puts a range of vital information about water sports and coastal activities instantly at your fingertips. It also features East Dorset Open Water Swimming Club!

icoastA unique feature of the site is access to real-time weather, tidal and current information and sea conditions. Whether you are a kayaker, sailor, surfer, climber, sea angler, scuba diver or walker, iCoast is an invaluable tool for planning and maximising your enjoyment of these and many other activities.

iCoast will be officially launched by Robert Gould, Dorset County Council’s Cabinet member for environment and Leader of West Dorset District Council, at the spring Dorset Coast Forum meeting at the Menzies Carlton Hotel in Bournemouth on 26 May. The website will be officially made available to all at 1pm.

Dorset Coast Forum has worked with specialist map developers One Bright Space to develop iCoast as part of the three-year marine planning project, C-SCOPE (Combining Sea and Coastal Planning in Europe). The programme, a partnership between the Dorset Coast Forum and the Belgian ICZM Coordination Centre, is funded by a 1.8 million Euro Interreg grant. For more details, go to www.cscope.eu

Bridget Betts, Dorset Coast Forum Coordinator and climber, said:

“iCoast is such an easy website to use and brings together all the information you would need to plan your coastal activities in one place. It also gives information on how best to carry out activities without impacting on the environment or other coastal users.”

Gary Fooks, Deputy Head of Weymouth & Portland 2012 Operations, is looking forward to the benefits of iCoast as part of the legacy of Dorset hosting the London 12 Olympic and Paralympic Games sailing events. He said:

“When the Dorset coast is showcased to the world in 2012, iCoast will be a fantastic web tool to give instant virtual access. In addition, it provides a long-term legacy for local and visitor coastal users.”

To experience iCoast for yourself, go to www.icoast.co.uk from 1pm on Thursday 26 May 2011.