Public invited to name a Marine Conservation Zone in Dorset

 9th Jan 2017


Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is offering the public a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to name a newly recommended Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in Dorset, 30km south of Bournemouth, in Dorset.

This offshore area is being put forward by Natural England for consideration in tranche 3 of the MCZ process, which will take place later this year.

The site with no name encompasses 191km2 and has been recommended for a particular type of seabed habitat called ‘subtidal coarse sediment’.  The seabed on the site reaches depths of 30-50m and also supports a range of other habitats including cobble and boulder reef and bedrock exposures. 

Home to animals such as soft corals and anemones 

Collectively, these habitats are home to animals such as soft corals, sponges, bryozoans, brittlestars and anemones. Sandeel, sole and cod are known to the area, and monkfish skate and sharks use the nearby areas as a nursery ground.

The winner will name a small of piece of UK's amazing marine environment 

DWT Marine Conservation Officer, Emma Rance said, “Naming a new MCZ in Dorset is a wonderful opportunity.  If this site is designated, it will become a recognised landmark along the Dorset coastline.  If your suggestion is selected to progress to the formal consultation, the winner will end up naming a small piece of the UK’s amazing marine environment.”

Marine Conservation Zones are needed in Dorset 

Three sites, Poole Rocks, South Dorset and Chesil Beach and Stennis Ledges became Dorset’s first MCZ’s in 2013.  In addition to the site with no name,  DWT and the Wildlife Trusts have recommended other sites to be designated MCZ’s during this final tranche in 2017, including Studland Bay, South of Portland and Broadbench to Kimmeridge.

Enter by 15th January for your suggestion to be considered...

DWT is asking for the public to suggest names by 15th January, and the top 10 favourites will be entered into a public poll, with the best three being submitted to Natural England for a final decision.

To enter your suggestions into the poll, visit our Living Seas webpages and complete the form.  The top 10 names to be voted for will be announced on the DWT facebook page.  Follow us at facebook/DorsetWildlife.


Notes to Editor

For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.

Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life

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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living.  Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 26,500 members and over 40 nature reserves.  Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve.  DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.



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