Dover to Deal MCZ

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

This is 10km2 site has within it a narrow band of in chalk. The chalk forms reefs, ledges and gullies which are part of an almost continuous chalk reef between Kingsdown, Deal in the north-east and Folkestone Warren in the south-west. The chalk is in the form of a gently sloping platform, with gullies up to two meters deep and rock pools on the seaward side, supporting a huge diversity of marine plants and animals. Farther offshore, the chalk gradually becomes covered in coarse sediments. Here, thousands of sandy tubes made by tiny ross worms form significant reefs which can harbour a wonderful diversity of wildlife. The naturally eroding chalk cliffs give rise to boulder strewn shores and shaded habitat for unusual sponges and sea squirts. The chalk platform extends across the shore and out to sea, with deep sand filled gullies between tall ridges of chalk covered in seaweeds, sponges and anemones. Large crabs and lobsters find shelter within the chalk in recesses, while baby cuttlefish swim around the outcrops, demonstrating their amazing camouflage.

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

9.91 km2 (3.83 mi.2)

Perimeter

22.24 km (13.82 mi.)

Coordinates (central point)

51° 9' 30" North, 1° 23' 45" East

  • 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 mixed sediments

    Undersea beds of a mixture of stones, gravels, sands and muds. Because mixed seabeds are so varied, they may support a wide range of animals, both on and in the sediment.

  • Subtidal chalk

    The chalk we see on our coastline can continue below the tide and create a very rich habitat for marine life. Becasue chalk is soft it is vulnerable to damage.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Moderate energy infralittoral rock

    Shallow water rock, below the tides, with some shelter from waves and currents.

  • 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.

  • Littoral chalk communities

    Special communities of animals and seaweeds that live on chalk seashores. Chalk is a soft, pure limestone and is easily eroded by seawater. This results in a characteristic type of beach, with a wide shore, often extending for many hundreds of metres, ba

  • Native oyster beds (Ostrea edulis)

    Native oysters are two shelled animals - one half is like a cup and attaches to the rock, the other is flat and forms a lid. In shallow water on fine, muddy sand, they can be found in huge numbers and form extensive beds, which become home to many other m


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Seasearch carried out dives in the site in 2014 to advocate it for setting up as an MCZ as part of the 2015 consultation on the second tranche of sites.

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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

Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

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