Honeycomb worms (Credit Paul Naylor)
Allonby Bay contains some of the best examples of Honeycomb worm reef in the North West.
The region is home to creatures such as the breadcrumb sponge and baked bean sea squirt. Now all we need is a bacon barnacle and we have a full fry-up!
Allonby Bay hugs the coast into the Solway Firth and includes two extremely important areas for marine life, Dubmill Scar and Maryport Roads. The area is highly diverse containing many different species of sponge, soft coral, seaweed, sea squirt, anemone and the reef-building honeycomb worms which is at its most northern extent.
Honeycomb worm (Sabellaria alveolata) reefs are a key feature of the northwest coastline. Millions of these worms form tubes from tiny grains of sand and shell, growing side-by-side to form a living reef. These reefs play a vital role as a home to other species, allowing settlement in areas which would otherwise be shifting sediments. Allonby Bay contains some of the best examples of reef in the North West. Let’s make sure we protect it for the future!
This recommended Marine Conservation Zone is under consideration for the second tranche of MCZs
This site is important. It contains some of the most extensive and best example of honeycomb worm reefs in the UK. Living and rocky reefs found within the site provide microhabitats that support a wealth of species from sponges, crabs, lobsters and anemones to an array of seaweeds
Subtidal sands and gravel habitats found here are important spawning and nursery grounds for plaice, skate and thornback rays.Harbour porpoises are often spotted here and are thought to pup in the area.
Protection of Allonby Bay would greatly enhance to the connectivity between protected areas in the north-eastern Irish Sea and would protect diverse and vitally important habitats and species. As a coastal site, Allonby is also particularly important to the local community and visitors who use the area for recreation, from walking to kite surfing and designation could boast tourism in the area as well as safeguarding a special place for future generations to enjoy.
We need you to help ensure that this site is designated. Show your support for this site by responding to the current consultation: www.wildlifetrusts.org/savemczs.
Contains UKHO Law of the Sea data. Crown copyright and database right and
contains Ordnance Survey Data Crown copyright and database 2012
Other nearby MCZs