Sea urchins (Credit Polly Whyte / earthinfocus)
Sea pens 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 south.
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 (also known as the pub grub favourite, scampi). Strange-looking spoon worms can also be found here. These bizarre creatures extend their long spoon-shaped, green tongues out of their burrows in the mud to feed. 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!
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