Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds Marine Conservation Zone

Status: protected

Green

Chalk reef (Credit Rob Spray)Chalk reef (Credit Rob Spray)

Three metre high arches of chalk tower up above the seabed, providing a home for attached sponges and red seaweeds, whilst shoaling horse mackerel fly through the water like silvery darts.

Located just 200 metres from the Norfolk Coast is the start of an exciting stretch of chalk reef, ranging from 0 – 20 metres in depth.

Located just 200 metres from the Norfolk coast is the start of an exciting stretch of chalk reef, ranging from 0 – 20 metres in depth. This unique reef comprises boulders, stacks and arches and is most likely to be Europe’s largest chalk reef. Alongside chalk, the seabed is composed of a mixture of rock, sediment, peat and clay.

Marine life is abundant here, including blue mussel beds, over 30 species of sea slug, harbour porpoises, grey and harbour seals, alongside occasional sightings of sunfish and basking sharks.

The chalk habitat here hosts large communities of crustaceans, burrowing piddocks, sea squirts, anemones and sponges; the purple sponge found here is a species new to science and was only discovered in 2011 by Dr Claire Goodwin. Shoaling fish are also a common sight and provide food for many seabirds, including common, little and Sandwich tern.



 

 

Location map

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

Holderness Inshore

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