Marine Conservation Zones

Marine Conservation Zones

Alexander Mustard/2020VISION

What are Marine Conservation Zones?

Marine Conservation Zones are protected areas of sea where human activity is more strictly managed to protect marine wildlife.

The Government is creating Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in the seas around England, following the passing of the Marine & Coastal Access Act (2009). These ‘zones’ will allow sustainable use of the sea whilst protecting a range of species and habitats found in English waters from damaging activity.

There are currently only 50 MCZs in place across England representing part of a 'blue belt' around UK seas.

England's Marine Conservation Zones

We are in the midst of the most crucial period in history for the UK's marine life. We

have an opportunity to turn an environment filled with ravaged habitats, depleted fish stocks

and struggling species into Living Seas - pulsating with life, supporting livelihoods,

continuing to be a source of joy and wonder to us all.

Simon King OBE
President of The Wildlife Trusts

Help us restore Living Seas

The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is campaigning alongside other Wildlife Trusts to protect more MCZs in the North Sea. There is a consultation taking place right now, asking for the general public to share their views on these new sites.

We are encouraging our members, supporters and anyone who loves wildlife to get involved and respond. We are broadly supportive of the Government's ambition, but we need to make sure that these sites are managed correctly, to give our ocean wildlife the best possible chance of recovery.

Keep a look out for our future campaign and help us to secure these valuable marine habitats for wildlife.

Become a Friend of MCZs

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Lincolnshire's proposed Marine Conservation Zones

Take a look at the factfiles below for more information on some of our proposed North Sea MCZs.

Grey Seal

Alexander Mustard/2020VISION

Dogs Head Sandbanks

 

The Inner and Outer Dogs Head is located in the mouth of the Wash. The intertidal sand banks here rise up to three metres high. Common seals haul out to rest and to give birth to their pups and the little terns that nest at Gibraltar Point fish for sand eels in the shallows.

Factfile

Lincs Belt

 

The Lincolnshire Belt stretches 35km from the Humber Channel to Anderby Creek, from the low tideline out to sea 5.5km (3 nautical miles). It is also a post-glacial landscape with cliffs of clay and peat, and sunken forests. These solid structures in the shifting sands form a substrate for sessile animals such as sea anemones and provide shelter for fish.

Factfile
Brittle Star

Linda Pitkin/2020VISION

Silver Pit

 

The Silver Pit is a deep glacial channel dating back ten thousand years when, during the Ice Age, much of the North Sea was dry land. Today, it’s considered depleted and in need of action to aid recovery.

Factfile
Blue Mussels

Lara Howe

The Wash Approach

 

The Wash Approach covers an area of nearly 1000km2 (nearly twice the size of the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB). It has one of the highest species diversities in the North Sea. Animals found here include worms, bivalves including the incredibly long lived ocean quahog, starfish and urchins, anemones, sea firs and sea mats.

Factfile