Marine conservation zone designations in England

Marine Conservation Zones protect our diverse species and habitats in the “blue belt” around the English Coast.

Marine Conservation Zones are areas that protect a range of nationally important, rare or threatened habitats and species.

There are 91 MCZs in waters around England. You can see where the zones are on JNCC’s interactive map.

These were designated in two phases after a process closely involving stakeholders. The first 27 zones were designated on 21 November 2013. 23 sites were designated in the second phase on 17 January 2016. Following consultation, 41 sites and 12 additional features were designated on 31 May 2019. Updated GIS data for all designated MCZs has been published.

The third phase essentially completed the UK Blue Belt and our contribution to the ecologically coherent network in the North East Atlantic in terms of the representation of species and habitats.

Similar schemes are operating in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to contribute to a UK wide network of marine protected areas.

2019 MCZ designations and factsheets

2016 MCZ designations and factsheets

2013 MCZ designation orders and factsheets

Policy documents

Published 21 November 2013
Last updated 31 May 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated to include the 2019 designated sites and amended features.

  2. Updated GIS data on designated MCZs is now available.

  3. Page reviewed and updated as 23 new MCZ designations have been announced.

  4. First published.