Padstow Bay and Surrounds MCZ
This is an inshore site located on the Cornish coast and covers an area of approximately 90 km2. This site aims to protect the rocky outcrops and reefs that support rich underwater communities, as well as pink sea-fan and spiny lobster. The pink sea-fan, is actually a type of coral. These corals are not individual animals but are made up of hundreds of tiny anemone-like animals called polyps. These fans can grow up to 80 cm high and 100 cm across. They are very fragile and slow growing, which makes them vulnerable to damage.
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 Area90.32 km2 (34.87 mi.2)
Perimeter83.70 km (52.01 mi.)
Spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas)
Crustaceans named for the sharp spines all over their heavy, orange-brown shells. They used to be fished commercially, but numbers have decreased dramatically and this species has disappeared entirely from some parts of England where they were common.
Pink sea-fan (Eunicella verrucosa)
A soft coral, related to tropical species and one of the most exotic-looking of our seabed animals. These delicately branched colonies of tiny animals are in turn home to other creatures.
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.
High energy intertidal rock
Rocky seashores, exposed to very strong waves and currents.
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.
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.
High energy infralittoral rock
Shallow water rock, below the tides, exposed to very strong waves and currents.
Moderate energy infralittoral rock
Shallow water rock, below the tides, with some shelter from waves and currents.
Did you know?…
Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns
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