Sea urchins (Credit Polly Whyte / earthinfocus)
Sea pens and urchins are in decline in this area! Urgent protection is needed to help them thrive once more.
Home to a diverse range of creatures that form a vital part of the Irish Sea food web.
West of Walney is located just off the coast of Walney Island, Cumbria, and covers two different habitat types: mud to the north and sand to the
Mud and sand are both brilliant habitats for wildlife and full of life. High densities of burrowing brittlestars colonise the surface of the sandy areas, while urchins, worms and molluscs enjoy the mud alongside the commercially important Dublin Bay prawn.
Delicate sea pens also live on the West of Walney mud; their numbers are in decline and protection will help them to thrive once more.
Who would have thought muddy habitats could be so full of life!
This recommended Marine Conservation Zone is under consideration for the second tranche of MCZs.
Defra have indicated that this site is now under consideration for tranche two and will potentially be included in the formal consultation at the beginning of 2015. Defra will now working to verify the evidence base for this site and will be looking to engage with stakeholders on both a local and national level to refine information about the site.
This site has been identified as at risk by Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. All of the features put forward by the regional projects are considered moderately to highly vulnerable to pressures exerted by bottom trawling within the site.
We need you to help ensure that this site is designated next year. Become a Friend of this site to stay up-to-date with The Wildlife Trusts' campaign to see how you can help.
Other nearby MCZs
West of Walney 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