Isles of Scilly Sites - Higher Town MCZ
This Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ), a type of Marine Protected Area, is actually one of 11 which make up the Isles of Scilly MCZs. These sites are approximately 45 kilometers southwest of the Cornish coast and cover a total area of over 30 km2. These areas include a variety of habitats and species and the waters range from sea level to 70 meters deep. The shallow inshore areas are rich in seaweeds, rocky areas are home to encrusting animals such as barnacles and sea squirts, as well as crabs and fish that use the spaces between rocks and boulders for shelter. Sandy habitats support burrowing marine worms and shrimp-like sandhoppers, whilst deeper waters support sea-fans and anemones. Both the short-snouted and the spiny seahorse are found here, as are rare species including sunset cup corals.
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 Area2.33 km2 (0.90 mi.2)
Perimeter9.81 km (6.10 mi.)
Moderate energy intertidal rock
Rocky seashores, above low tide, with some shelter from waves and currents. On these shores, there are places where plants and animals can find shelter from the waves – the landward sides of boulders, in cracks and crevices, and in rock pools.
Low energy intertidal rock
Rocky seashores, sheltered from waves and currents dominated by seaweeds and exposed at low tide.
Intertidal sand and muddy sand
The beach! Sandy shores are made up of clean sand or slightly muddy sand, often scattered with seashells and stones. The surface is often ‘rippled’ by the action of waves. Below the surface worms and shellfish stay safe and damp.
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.
Intertidal underboulder communities
The marine life living under boulders on the seashore. These damp, shady spots are home to a different set of creatures that you don’;t find on the rest of the shore.
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 on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’
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
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