Map of Interest Features

A map showing the location of priority habitats within the site can be downloaded from the MAGIC website

Description of the Interest Features and their Current Condition

The site was designated as a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 in January 2016.

The site is notified for the following features:

Further details about these interest features can be found through following the links in the Conservation  Advice for the site

The Coquet to St Mary’s MCZ contains a mosaic of sediment and hard substrate habitats which support a wide range of diverse communities. The intertidal habitats range from rocky shore platforms and outcrops, to large sandy bays and beaches, each supporting unique communities. Rocky shores support large abundances of red algae, fucoids and kelp, whilst intertidal boulders provide shelter and habitat for a wide variety of crustaceans, molluscs, anemones and encrusting bryozoans. Elsewhere mud and sand flats contain burrowing bivalves and worm communities, whilst amphipods dominate the strandline of sandy beaches. Rare exposures of intertidal peat and clay are found along patches of the coastline, including fossilised tree roots from millions of years ago.

Shallow sloping rock platforms in the near-shore area also support thriving communities of macroalgae, which in turn support species including hydroids, sponges and anemones. In deeper waters, where light penetration is too low to support diverse faunal communities, a large diversity of fauna flourish, including dead man’s fingers, hornwrack and sponges. In these deeper waters rocky habitats are interspersed between wide areas of subtidal mud, sand and mixed sediments, each of which support their own range of species, including burrowing bivalves, bristle worms, sea pens and urchins.

The condition of the MCZ has yet to be assessed. Details of Natural England’s monitoring of the site can be found HERE

Sensitivities of Interest Features

The summary given below is provided for informal guidance only. Please note that the published conservation advice and the accompanying supplementary advice on the conservation objectives produced by Natural England for the site should be referred as the definitive and official source of information about site pressures and sensitivities when making decisions about management activities.

This site is potentially sensitive to any activities which might:

  • Negatively affects the presence, extent, spatial distribution, structural complexity and/or stability of any of the designated features of the site
  • Negatively affect the species composition of the communities present within a designated habitat
  • Negatively affect sediment deposition, water quality or natural physical process on the site
  • Increase the likelihood of non-native species or pathogens on to the site

Overlap with other sites

This site partially overlaps with the following MPAs:

The following SSSIs overlap with this MPA