Camel Estuary MCZ
Part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the North Cornish coast, the Camel Estuary is enjoyed year-round by thousands of visitors and residents alike, including those using the famous Camel Trail cycle way. The estuary’s mudflats and reedbeds provide a home for a wealth of marine invertebrates and are an important foraging habitat for wading birds, as well as a key nursery habitat for fish. The estuary is a designated Bass Nursery Area where fishing for bass is prohibited during Summer and Autumn. Otters are regularly spotted thriving in this rich and productive habitat.
Designation of this marine conservation zone in 2019 will protect this special place from any current or future potentially damaging activities.
MPA TypeMarine 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 Area2.22 km2 (0.86 mi.2)
Perimeter35.78 km (22.23 mi.)
The quiet water in sheltered estuaries and harbours allows very fine silt and clay to settle and form a layer of mud that can be exposed at low tide. These glistening muddy expanses can be packed ful of life and are sometimes called the ‘larders of the s
Low energy intertidal rock
Rocky seashores, sheltered from waves and currents dominated by seaweeds and exposed at low tide.
Intertidal coarse sediment
Where small rocks, pebbles, and gravel, sometimes mixed with coarse sand are sometimes covered by the tide. While it may not look like much lives there - there are animals specially adapted to live in the moist spaces between the shingle and gravel.
Coastal saltmarshes and saline reedbeds
Saltmarshes link the land and the sea and create very specialised conditions for particular plants. They form a natural coastal defence and are home to a large variety of life. Associated reedbeds are equally rich and improtant and support iconic species
Estuarine rocky habitats
Estuaries are usually soft, muddy places, so rock and stable boulders in estuaries are rare and offer a great habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals.
Did you know?…
To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’
Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers
Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns