Tamar Estuary Marine Conservation Zone

Status: protected


Warleigh Point (Credit Simon Williams)Warleigh Point (Credit Simon Williams)

A nationally significant site, the Tamar Estuary is a uniquely important location for smelt within the south-west and is used as a nursery for a range of other fish species.

Intertidal mud in the Lynher provides a stable habitat for other estuarine species here.

The Tamar Estuary was designated in 2013 as a Marine Conservation Zone to protect the estuarine habitats and species found here including intertidal biogenic reefs, blue mussel beds and smelt.

The Tamar Estuary stretches from the sea at Saltash and splits into two branches. The recommended MCZ is made up of two areas; the upper Tamar and Tavy Estuaries and the upper Lynher Estuary. Both areas are home to saltmarsh and intertidal mudflats; mussel beds have been recorded on the intertidal mud in the Lynher, which provide a stable habitat for other estuarine

The estuaries are also the only known regional example for smelt, a species of conservation importance, which use the sites for breeding. The sites also provide a nursery for many other fish species.

Other nearby sites:

Upper Fowey and Pont Pill  Whitsand and Looe Bay

Location map

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