Marine Protected Areas: conservation advice packages

Use site advice packages and supporting documents to help with site assessments and the impact of marine activity in sensitive areas.

Advice packages are listed by marine area. Use the index maps (linked below) to find the advice package you’re interested in.

The packages include:

  • site information
  • supplementary advice on designated features
  • advice on operations

Some packages are still in draft and being consulted on and may be subject to change.

Draft advice reflects the most up-to-date evidence held by Natural England and, where relevant, other statutory nature conservation bodies. It’s not formal statutory advice. Use it to help make decisions on marine activity, management and casework. .

Formal packages are Natural England’s statutory advice replacing any previous advice.

Updated advice packages are mostly held on Natural England’s Designated Sites System database. There are still some packages held on GOV.UK, whilst the database is completed. You’ll be directed by links for each site to access the information you’re after.

Only sites with updated advice packages are listed here, but all sites can be searched for on the Designated Sites View site search, which will include links to any existing advice.

Irish Sea

Western Channel and Celtic Sea

Eastern Channel

Southern North Sea

Northern North Sea

Supporting information

Natural England provides conservation advice for MPAs up to 12 nautical miles from the coast. Where a site crosses a border, Natural England works with the relevant partner to produce the advice.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) provides advice for sites in Welsh territorial waters.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) provides advice for sites in Scottish territorial waters.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) provides Offshore MPA conservation advice.

Published 30 March 2015
Last updated 26 September 2018 + show all updates
  1. New sites added to the collection, all maps updated and some sites moved from draft to formal stage. See each marine area page for details.
  2. Irish Sea: 1 site changed from draft to formal, 1 designation changed, map updated - Western Channel: 2 designations changed, map updated - Eastern Channel: 2 sites changed from draft to formal, 2 designations changed, 3 new draft sites added, map updated - Southern North Sea: 2 sites changed from draft to formal, 3 designations changed, 4 new draft sites added, map updated - Northern North Sea: 4 new draft sites added, map updated.
  3. Supporting information about partner bodies added.
  4. Advice packages rearranged by marine area. Index maps added.
  5. Added 4 new sites and documents to reflect the transfer of information to Natural England's Designated Sites System.
  6. 4 new packages added: * Thanet Coast MCZ * Thames Estuary and Marshes SPA * Benfleet and Southend Marshes SPA * Margate and Long Sands SCI
  7. 13 new packages added.
  8. Five draft packages added.
  9. First published.