East Meridian recommended Marine Conservation Zone

Status: Potential T3 site

Cuttlefish by reef (Credit Paul Naylor)Cuttlefish by reef (Credit Paul Naylor)

Rocky and gravelly areas provide rich hunting grounds, attracting the master of disguise - cuttlefish.

Ross worm reef is present here: a ‘living reef’ formed by aggregations of this worm’s sandy casts.


Become a Friend of this MCZ

Directly south of Beachy Head, this recommended MCZ lies in deeper waters farther offshore and includes a rich rocky habitat overlain with a thin veneer of sands or mixed sediments.

The area encompasses the ancient English Channel outburst flood feature, formed when a huge glacial lake in the North Sea burst through the Dover Straits Isthmus which contained it, thereby separating England from mainland Europe.

Diverse marine life is supported in this region from beautiful anemone and sponge meadows to unusual sea squirts, hydroids and even corals! Ross worm reef is also present: a ‘living reef’ formed by aggregations of this worm’s sandy tubes which provides an excellent habitat for other creatures to colonise. Rocky and gravelly areas are also rich hunting grounds, attracting the masters of disguise - cuttlefish.

The site was proposed for the rich diversity of habitat types it contains, making an important contribution to the network. This site has been identified as being at high risk of damage and degradation by Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee due to the presence of vulnerable features.

We need your help to ensure that this site is included in tranche 3.
Become a Friend of Marine Conservation Zones today!

Contains UKHO Law of the Sea data. Crown copyright and database right and contains Ordnance Survey Data Crown copyright and database 2012

Other nearby sites

Beachy Head East

Beachy Head West

Inner Bank


FilenameFile size
East Meridian Factsheet.pdf2.25 MB