West of Walney MCZ
West of Walney is a 156km2 area located just off the coast of Walney Island, Cumbria. The mud and sand which cover the seabed here are both brilliant habitats for wildlife. High densities of burrowing brittle stars live in the sandy areas, while urchins, worms and molluscs enjoy the mud, alongside the commercially important Dublin Bay prawn. Delicate sea pens also live on the West of Walney mud; their numbers are in decline.
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 Area387.96 km2 (149.79 mi.2)
Perimeter80.47 km (50.00 mi.)
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.
Sea-pen and burrowing megafauna communities
Areas of stable muddy seabed, where animals burrow below and sea pens protrude from the surface. Sea pens are colonial animals that look a bit like quill pen.
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
To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’
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