This snapshot, taken on
, shows web content acquired for preservation by The National Archives. External links, forms and search may not work in archived websites and contact details are likely to be out of date.
The UK Government Web Archive does not use cookies but some may be left in your browser from archived websites.
Natural England - Marine


The marine environment around England is extremely rich and diverse. England’s seas contain amazing underwater landscapes and over 10,000 species, including many of national and European importance.

Natural England works to ensure that our marine environment is better understood, valued and protected

Key work areas for Natural England include:

What is Natural England's role?

We are responsible for advising Government and industry on marine conservation and seascape issues in England’s territorial waters (from the coast out to 12 nautical miles offshore).

Through our Marine Campaign and through our research we are helping people to understand and appreciate the marine environment. We are implementing Marine Conservation Zones introduced through the Marine and Coastal Access Act. Combining these new zones with existing designated areas, such as European Marine Sites and the marine components of SSSIs and Ramsar sites, will provide an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas.

We also want to ensure that the use and management of the marine environment, outside protected areas, is more sustainable. We will work directly with fisheries and other industries, such as renewable energy and extractive industries to secure this objective. We will also influence policies and mechanisms, including a marine planning system.

Natural England is currently progressing 6 draft SACS and 2 potential SPAs on the inshore zone, more information on these sites can be found on the New Marine Natura 2000 sites - Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas webpages.


  • Common oyster © Paul Kay

    The Marine Conservation Zone Project reaches a milestone

    (8 September 2011)  Conservation for the UK’s marine environment took a big step forward today as four regional groups of sea users that form the ‘Marine Conservation Zone Project’ published their final recommendations for new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).


  • Jewel anemones © Paul Kay

    World Oceans Day 2011

    (8 June 2011)  To mark World Oceans Day, find out more about the progress of the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) Project.


The Science of Marine Reserves

Flamborough no take zone

The Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) has just published a new edition of its report, Science of Marine Reserves, focussing specifically on European marine reserves.


Lundy Marine Conservation Zone

Lundy MCZ

Lundy MCZ contains the finest examples of rocky reefs in Britain, with an amazing diversity of sea life including some very rare and fragile species.