Stour and Orwell Estuaries Recommended Marine Conservation Zone

Status: Refused

Starlet sea anemones (Credit Rob Spray)Starlet sea anemones (Credit Rob Spray)

Rich in all kinds of wildlife Stour and Orwell are home to even these wonderful starlet sea anemones.

Estuaries provide an important nursery ground for fish such as bass.

Although this site was proposed for designation in the 2013 Defra consultation, it has now been removed from the network. This site faced significant opposition from the ports and harbour sector who did not see the designation as being of benefit, bringing significant socio-economic impacts with little conservation benefit as these are brought by the exisiting designations (SSSI and SAC). We will continue to reinforce the need for the designation of an ecologically coherent and representative network of Marine Protected Areas, including sites off the Suffolk Coast and will continue to urge the Government to remain commited to the urgent designation of additional sites to create this network.

Estuaries are renowned for being rich in all kinds of wildlife and none more so than the Stour and Orwell recommended MCZ.

Ross worms, honeycomb worms, blue mussel beds and native oysters can all be found here. These marine species encourage others to make the estuaries their home with plenty of places for settlement and shelter in addition to providing food. The starlet sea anemone and tentacled lagoon worm have also been recorded.

Estuaries provide an important nursery ground for many fish species and both the Stour and Orwell are valuable for bass. Other commercially important fish here include Dover sole, herring, cod and whiting. European eels also use the area for breeding.

Other nearby MCZs

Alde Ore Estuary Orford Inshore

Location map

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


FilenameFile size
Stour and Orwell Estuaries.pdf258.73 KB