Folkestone Pomerania MCZ

Status: Designated


Site overview

This is an inshore site located in the narrowest part of the English Channel, approximately 6 km from the south-east Kent coastline. It covers an area of approximately 34 km.  Sole, cod, mackerel and herring are found here. The soft muddy areas within the site support dense ross worm reefs. Honeycomb worm reefs are also found within the site, which is very unusual as these normally do not occur in the sort of environment found here. These biogenic reefs are very fragile and are consequently particularly vulnerable to damage. 

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

33.71 km2 (13.02 mi.2)


23.49 km (14.60 mi.)

Coordinates (central point)

51° 1' 24" North, 1° 16' 49" East

  • Ross worm reefs (Sabellaria spinulosa)

    Ross worms build tubes from sand and shell fragments. They are usually found individually, but in some shallow water areas they occur in huge colonies that can be up to half a metre high and spread over several hectares. They are important because they p

  • Subtidal sand

    Sandy seascapes that can seem a bit like deserts, but can be full of life. Flat fish and sand eels camouflaged on the surface of the sand,worms and bivalves (with their paired, hinged shells) all live in places like these.

  • Subtidal coarse sediment

    Undersea beds of coarse sand, gravel and shingle. Most of the animals that live here, like bristleworms, sand mason worms, small shrimp-like animals, burrowing anemones, carpet shell clams and venus cockles, are found buried in the seabed – the safest pl

  • High energy circalittoral rock

    Rocky areas affected by strong waves or currents where the water depth means there is not enough sunlight so marine animal communities like sponges, sea firs and soft corals dominate and seaweeds are mostly absent.

  • Fragile sponge & anthozoan communities on subtidal rocky habitats

    Anthozoans are a group of soft animals with feathery tentacles, which includes soft corals, sea-fans, cup corals and anemones. Members of this group can be found together with branching sponges on steeply sloping bedrock or large boulders in depths from

  • Honeycomb worm reefs (Sabellaria alveolata)

    Honeycomb worms build tubes from sand and shell fragments. Where these worms life close together their tubes from large reefs that provide habitat for animals and seaweeds.

Seasearch Logo

Volunteer Seasearch divers from Kent regularly dive this site which has large potato crisp bryozoans (Pentapora foliacea) and some Sabellaria colonies. Surveys are limited by the tides and generally low visibility in this part of the English Channel.

Learn more about Seasearch

Did you know?…

Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas

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

Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers