Orford Inshore MCZ

Status: Proposed


Site overview

This site includes a seabed of mixed sands and gravels, and provides key spawning habitats for several commercially important fish species such as lemon sole and sprat. Sand eels also spawn hear and provide rich foraging grounds for predators such as sharks, skates and rays, and several seabird species including black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, northern gannet and Sandwich tern.

There are very few sites that lie beyond 6nm and are properly protected in English seas. MCS believes this site should be considered for designation as a Highly Protected Marine Area where all human activities that negatively impact marine wildlife are prohibited.

MPA Type

Marine Conservation Zone

Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are designated under UK legislation (Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009) and have been established around England, Wales and Northern Ireland to contribute to the UK MPA network protect a range of nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology, and can be designated anywhere in English and Welsh territorial and UK offshore waters.

Surface Area

71.95 km2 (27.78 mi.2)


34.78 km (21.61 mi.)

Coordinates (central point)

52° 5' 40" North, 1° 53' 1" East

  • Subtidal mixed sediments

    Undersea beds of a mixture of stones, gravels, sands and muds. Because mixed seabeds are so varied, they may support a wide range of animals, both on and in the sediment.

Did you know?…

Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns

An area over 9 times the size of Wales is now in marine protected areas in the UK, but less than 1% is considered by MCS scientists to be well managed