An area 8 times the size of London will become a “blue belt” of protected waters after the government created 41 new marine conservation zones.

The short-snouted seahorse, the ocean quahog, ross worm reefs and blue mussel beds are among the species and habitats that will benefit from the new protections, although dredging and other damaging activities can only be halted in zones that lie within inshore waters, up to 12 nautical miles from the coast.

The newly-protected areas ranging from Studland Bay, near Bournemouth, to the Goodwin Sands off the Deal coast in Kent will cover 4633 sq miles (12,000 sq km) of marine habitat, eight times the size of Greater London, bringing the total number of marine protected areas around the British coastline to 355.

Those closest to us are listed below with links to the Wildlife Trusts web pages describing each area.


Eastern Channel

Goodwin Sands

Eastern Channel