Mud Hole recommended Marine Conservation Zone

Potential Tranche 2

Dublin Bay prawn (Credit Paul Naylor) Dublin Bay prawn (Credit Paul Naylor)

Dublin Bay prawns feature widely in this habitat and are of great interest to the fishing industry. The survival of this habitat is vital to the sustainability of this creature.

The volume of life in mud habitats is on a par with rainforests and coral reefs!


Become a Friend of this MCZ

You can probably guess the main habitat that is found at Mud Hole ... mud! It’s something we have a lot of in the North-West of England, but without it this region would be far poorer. It is home to a diverse range of creatures that form a vital part of the Irish Sea food web.

Mud Hole is deep-water mud, around 35m deep, located 21km off the coast of Cumbria and covers an area of 73km2. This is a perfect habitat for burrowing creatures such as Dublin Bay prawns, angular crabs and shrimps. Delicate sea pens and hydroids also make this mud their home, as do urchins and a variety of molluscs.

A diverse number of worms also feature here, creating volcano-like domes on the seabed.


StatusThis recommended Marine Conservation Zone is under consideration for the second tranche of MCZs.

Defra have indicated that this site is now under consideration for tranche two and will potentially be included in the formal consultation at the beginning of 2015. Defra will now working to verify the evidence base for this site and will be looking to engage with stakeholders on both a local and national level to refine information about the site.  This site has been identified as at risk of damage and deterioration by Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. The mud habitats are highly sensitive and are subject to high fishing activity for Dublin Bay Prawn (Nephrops).

We need you to help ensure that this site is designated next year. Become a Friend of this site to stay up-to-date with The Wildlife Trusts' campaign to see how you can help.

Other nearby MCZs

Cumbria Coast

Location map

Mud Hole recommended MCZ is located in the map below.

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


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mud_hole.pdf2.6 MB