Ribble Estuary Recommended MCZ

Status: On hold

Shore crab eating clam (Credit Paul Naylor)Shore crab eating clam (Credit Paul Naylor)

The sand is home to millions of small creatures from tiny snails and worms to shellfish and crabs.

Sand flats here are essential to the survival of over wintering birds .

The features of conservation importance found in this recommended MCZ are smelt and eel, commercially important species but also vital for seabirds to feed on.

The Ribble Estuary is a fascinating place. The site is made up of an estuary that results in saltmarsh where river meets sea. This habitat is important countrywide as it provides a nursery ground for fish to mature and reach a size that will improve their chances of reaching breeding age. Saltmarsh is formed by grasses and plants that are highly tolerant of salt and can thrive even when they are often submerged by the tide.

The Ribble estuary also provides a huge extent of sand flats that are essential to the survival of overwintering birds that rest and feed here during the winter months, before returning to the colder extremes of the North.

Become a Friend of this MCZ

StatusThis recommended Marine Conservation Zone is ON HOLD at the moment as Defra has indicated that there is not enough evidence to support designation.

We need you to urge Defra to use this data gathered as soon as possible to consider designation of this site in a future tranche:


Have your say

This site is on hold at the moment. Defra has indicated that they need additional evidence on both the species recommended for protection by stakeholders. The site was put forward for protection of smelt and European eel, both of which have shown a marked population decline within the UK.

We need you to urge Defra to commit to gathering the additional evidence required as soon as possible and to consider designation of this site in a future tranche.

Other nearby MCZs

Fylde Offshore  Sefton Coast

Location map

Ribble Estuary 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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