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About the Dorset Coast Forum

Find out about the Dorset Coast Forum team, the services we offer and our vision for the future.

Organisations working together to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of the Dorset coast and the surrounding seas

The Dorset Coast Forum (DCF) is an independent strategic multi-sector partnership, hosted by Dorset County Council, who work with stakeholders to promote a sustainable approach to the planning, management, use of and development of the Dorset coast and its inshore waters, from Lyme Regis to Christchurch out to 12 nautical miles.

Established in 1995, it has a long and successful history in disseminating information, delivering projects, events and conferences to diverse marine and coastal sectors along the Dorset coast. DCF currently have over 260 members from the public, charity and private sector including the local authorities, fishing, commercial, environmental, recreational, historical, maritime, business and tourism sectors. All DCF members have expertise, local knowledge and a deep understanding of Dorset's coast and its inshore waters.

Our vision and objectives

'In 2050, the Dorset coast and marine environment, its landscapes and seascapes, cultural heritage and rich biodiversity are protected and enhanced for current and future generations. Communities living there are healthy, resilient and living in harmony with natural processes whilst a diverse and thriving coastal economy which uses natural resources sustainably supports these communities. Both residents and visitors alike are using the coast responsibly for enjoyment, education and inspiration'

The DCF have five key objectives:

  1. A coast that is at least as beautiful, and as rich in wildlife and cultural heritage, as it is now
  2. A thriving and diverse coastal economy which uses the resources of the coast sustainably
  3. A coast that is used, enjoyed and appreciated by the people of Dorset and visitors
  4. A coast where Dorset is a world-leading area in coastal management, where all the key partners are taking decisions and acting together to deliver the highest practical quality of management possible
  5. A coast that is managed to adapt to the issues of changing climate, economy and communities

What can the Dorset Coast Forum do for you?

  • provide a neutral platform for discussion
  • disseminate relevant data and information to our members
  • design and deliver innovative projects
  • provide effective stakeholder engagement
  • organise and facilitate workshops
  • empower communities to tackle coastal issues affecting them
  • provide educational material to schools, businesses and communities
  • enable networking opportunities through conferences and events
  • work effectively on issues and opportunities for the coast using our members knowledge and expertise to deliver results
  • facilitate conflict resolution on coastal issues

More detail on our four main services:

Workshops and conferences

The Dorset Coast Forum also offers a conference/workshop organising service to DCF members. This may range from organising and administering large conferences to arranging and facilitating smaller more interactive events/workshops. We are happy to design bespoke events to meet your requirements. To talk through ideas please contact the Dorset Coast Forum.

The Dorset Coast Forum hold bi-annual conferences for our members on a wide range of topics and issues. We also provide ad hoc meetings, seminars and workshops on issues pertinent to the Dorset coast. These events provide an excellent networking facility with communication across a wide range of stakeholders at a local, regional and national level.

The conferences, seminars and workshops are available to DCF members at a cost effective rate.

Project work

Project work is undertaken by the DCF team on a wide variety of marine and coastal topics. The DCF team delivers both large and smaller projects on behalf of DCF members. Our expertise covers:

  • marine/coastal policy and management including marine planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management
  • attracting project funding and initiating collaborative ventures
  • providing a gateway service and 'one-stop-shop' for information and contacts
  • filling gaps where there are no sectoral responsibilities and mobilising voluntary support and involvement
  • partnership working - the ability to work across sectors and between all levels of decision making
  • community participation - Raising awareness of issues and opportunities and seek a mechanism for community engagement
  • assessing the impacts and opportunities in the coastal and marine environment from coastal and climate change, water pollution, fisheries, offshore wind, litter and oil pollution
  • working with diverse professional interests, specialising in multi sectoral meetings and networks
  • media - using a wide range of effective media for specific projects - experience with email, social networking and face to face communication


We are experts on horizon scanning to inform organisations of coastal issues. We communicate this information via a monthly e-news for members.This information includes:

  • local and national news
  • project work
  • reports, publications and new policies - local, national and international
  • stakeholder consultations
  • conferences and events

Our DCF mailing list reaches over 750 contacts interested in marine, coastal, environmental and sustainability issues. We encourage members to share their information to the wider DCF membership.

DCF provides a (bottom-up) conduit to regional and national government on establishing integrated policy and a mechanism to input into strategic coastal issues.

Facilitation work

DCF staff have professional training on delivering facilitation services. They provide a neutral role which is effective in areas of work where there is sometimes conflict. We have impartiality and a proven role in conflict resolution and consensus building.

DCF also have access to a local facilitation network where there are trained individuals within Dorset who are able to provide a facilitation service at specific events.

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