Medway Estuary MCZ
This area is an inshore site located on the Kent coast, and is made up of the Medway Estuary from Rochester extending out to sea to include an area between Sheerness and the Isle of Grain. A total area of 60 km2 is protected. The mix of fresh and sea waters found here alongside the tidal movement of the sea create changing levels of salinity and nutrients. This creates a fertile environment for many types of fish and birds. Many species of bass, herring, cod, plaice and sole use the area as a nursery ground.
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 Area59.95 km2 (23.15 mi.2)
Perimeter655.87 km (407.54 mi.)
Coordinates (central point)51° 24' 59" North, 0° 39' 18" East
A very rich and diverse muddy undersea habitat that supports high numbers of worms, cockles and other shellfish, urchins and sea cucumbers as well as sea pens, burrowing anemones and brittlestars.
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
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 mixed sediments
Sheltered shores where there is a mixture of pebbles, gravels, sands and mud and there may also be rocks and a few large boulders. Because it’s diverse, it provides a home for a wide variety of animals.
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.
Peat and clay exposures
Seabeds formed of exposed peat or clay, or in some cases both, which are very rare. Where they do occur they attract a variety of plant and animal life.
Did you know?…
Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers
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
To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’