Porcelain crab (Credit Amy Dale)
Sheltering under the many limestone boulders at Thorness are thriving wildlife communities, which include porcelain crabs, sea squirts and sponges.
Off the shores of Yarmouth and Bouldnor, there are extensive seagrass meadows.
With thriving wildlife communities and ancient underwater cliffs, Yarmouth to Cowes is an exciting ecological and archaeological treasure trove.
This area has some of the best peat exposures in the region, notably at Bouldnor where an underwater peat cliff rises up to nine metres from the seabed. This cliff is thought to be 8,000 years old. Before it was submerged by sea level rise, it was inhabited and is rich in archaeology.
In Thorness Bay, clay exposures form ledges at low water and expose the holes of piddocks: molluscs which use their serrated shells to excavate protective holes in soft rock. Sheltering under the many limestone boulders at Thorness are thriving wildlife communities, which include porcelain crabs, sea squirts and sponges. Newtown Harbour is one of the few locations for estuarine rock in the region.
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 contains large seagrass beds around Yarmouth and Bouldnor and some of the best peat and clay exposures in the region. This site has also been identified as being at high risk of damage and degradation by Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee due to the presence of sensitive features 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.
Dive video of this site
Other nearby sites:
Yarmouth to Cowes 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