Thanet Coast Marine Conservation Zone

Status: protected


Stalked jellyfish (Credit Becky Hitchin)Stalked jellyfish (Credit Becky Hitchin)

Thanet’s rockpools is home to the extraordinary and rare stalked jellyfish.

Thanet has the longest continuous stretch of coastal chalk in the UK.

This site has been designated for a wide range of habitats found in the area including sand, chalk, rock, peat and clay and gravel habitats as well as to protect the ross worm reefs and two specied of stalked jellyfish found here.

Its magnificent cliffs stand above the rich chalk reefs which stretch out across the shore and far out into the sea.

The chalk shore features many gullies and supports lush seaweed assemblages, rich mussel beds and reefs made from the sandy tubes of industrious ross worms.

In the many rockpools, prawns, hermit crabs and small fish are regular sights, while specialities such as stalked jellyfish, brightly coloured sea slugs and baby cuttlefish can also be found.

On the chalk below the tide, colourful sponges, anemones and sea squirts abound, along with a variety of crab and fish species.

A breeding population of the stalked jellyfish St John’s Jellyfish (Lucernariopsis cruxmelitensis) was recorded beside Walpole Bay in September 2011 (photographed, and filmed by the BBC. A video can be viewed here.

Other nearby sites:

The Swale Estuary 

Location map:

Thanet Coast 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