Area is chosen as conservation zone

Newbiggin beach and Maritime Centre.
Newbiggin beach and Maritime Centre.

An area of the north east coast in south east Northumberland has been chosen as a marine conservation zone.

A list of 37 sites have been announced for a second tranche of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), due for consultation in 2015, including a zone that sretches from Coquet to St Mary’s.

Marine Conservation Zones are vital to protect and restore the marine environment.

Steve Lowe, head of conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust, said: “We are pleased by the Government’s commitment, demonstrated today, to a second tranche of Marine Conservation Zones.
“I am delighted that there are six North Sea sites on the list – Coquet to St. Marys, Farnes East, Runswick Bay, Compass Rose, Holderness Inshore and Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds and that the 27 areas designated at the end of last year were the first step towards an ecologically coherent network.

“We are buoyed by progress being made towards the next step in its creation.

“There is huge public support for greater protection of our seas using Marine Protected Areas. They are one of the best tools to protect marine wildlife effectively and restore our seas to their full potential, following decades of neglect and decline.”

In November 2013, The Wildlife Trusts welcomed Defra’s immediate designation of 27 Marine Conservation Zones, the first step towards the creation of an ecologically coherent network so absolutely vital to ensure the healthy future of our seas.

At that time, Marine Environment Minister George Eustice also announced plans to designate two more phases of MCZs over the next three years to complete the Government’s contribution to a network of marine protected areas.

He said: “This is just the beginning, we plan two further phases over the next three years and work to identify these will begin shortly.”