Norris to Ryde recommended Marine Conservation Zone

Status: Potential T3 site

Spider crab in seagrass (Credit Amy Marsden) Spider crab in seagrass (Credit Amy Marsden)

The marine world at Norris to Ryde is full of variety. Shimmering emerald meadows of seagrass plays home to many marine species like these spider crabs.

Seagrass provides important nursery areas for juvenile fish and crustaceans.



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This area boasts one of the largest seagrass meadows in the south-east region; the meadow in Osborne and Wootton Bays extends 4.5km along the coast and covers more than 200 hectares. They provide important nursery areas for juvenile fish and crustaceans such spider crabs. The lagoons at the top of Wootton Creek have one of the largest populations of the tentacled lagoon worm Alkmaria romijni in the country.

Further offshore are large expanses of subtidal mud, in which creatures like mantis shrimps burrow. The Solent is considered a hotspot for these fascinating crustaceans. Mantis shrimps hide in burrows waiting for unsuspecting prey to pass. They locate their prey accurately, with some of the most advanced eyes in the animal kingdom, and then unleash their awesome weapon: a spear-like barbed claw that impales the prey at the speed of a bullet.

This site contains one of the best examples of seagrass beds in the Solent. These beds act as a nursery for juvenile fish and provide a major food source for overwintering wildfowl. The site has also 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 sensitive features within the site.

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


Other nearby sites


Yarmouth to Cowes

Fareham Creek

Location map

Norris to Ryde 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.






FilenameFile size
Norris to Ryde Factsheet.pdf4.63 MB