© Crown copyright 2016
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/conservation-advice-for-marine-conservation-zone-thanet-coast-ukmcz0017/thannet-coast-mcz-site-information-draft
This document collection contains Natural England’s draft formal advice for Thanet Coast MCZ and fulfils Natural England’s responsibility under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, to give advice on how to further the conservation objectives for Thanet Coast MCZ, and the activities that are capable of affecting the designated features and the processes which they are dependent upon.
Thanet Coast MCZ site information
|Overarching site||Thanet Coast MCZ|
|Site name||Thanet Coast|
|Designation date||Designated 21 November 2013|
|Designated features||Blue mussel beds, Mytilus edulis|
|-||Moderate energy circalittoral rock|
|-||Moderate energy infralittoral rock|
|-||Peat and clay exposures|
|-||Ross worm reefs, Sabellaria spinulosa|
|-||St John’s jellyfish, Lucernariopsis cruxmelitensis|
|-||Subtidal coarse sediment|
|-||Subtidal mixed sediments|
|Feature condition status||Details on feature condition can be found in the supplementary advice pdf|
|Designated area||The designation area covers 6279 ha. The landward boundary is determined by the Mean High Water Mark, the seaward boundary follows the extent of the subtidal chalk.|
|Names of component sites of special scientific interest||Thanet Coast SSSI|
|Nearby and overlapping Marine Protected Areas||Thanet Coast SAC|
|-||Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay SPA|
Use the MAGIC website to see site maps, including habitats, species and other marine designations.
These maps are based on the best available evidence, there are some caveats associated with the maps on MAGIC.
The dynamic nature of habitat features and supporting habitats for mobile species is illustrated where data is available, as new evidence becomes available these maps will be updated with our current knowledge of their known extent.
Background information and geography
Covering an area extending from Herne Bay to Ramsgate on the north Kent coastline, the Thanet Coast MCZ protects several varied habitats and important associated species within its boundaries. The site is in addition to the already existing Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Area (SPA) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The Thanet coast has the second largest unbroken stretch of chalk cliffs in the UK, which offers up a large area of intertidal and subtidal habitats, including chalk caves that are home to unique algal species.
The diverse substrates, ranging from sand and coarse sediments to rock, support many benthic faunal species, while the chalk and biogenic reefs provide a stable substrate where seaweed communities and their associated faunal communities can flourish. A rare species of stalked jellyfish, the St John’s jellyfish, can be found associated with the seaweed within the site; this species has only been located at 2 sites in the UK.
General information on the site features
You can find common information on the designated features from the JNCC features catalogue.
The site’s conservation objectives apply to the Marine Conservation Zone and the individual species and / or habitat for which the site has been designated (the “Designated features” listed below).
The conservation objective of the zone is that the protected habitats: 1. are maintained in favourable condition if they are already in favourable condition 2. be brought into favourable condition if they are not already in favourable condition
For each protected feature, favourable condition means that, within a zone:
- its extent is stable or increasing
- its structure and functions, its quality, and the composition of its characteristic biological communities (including diversity and abundance of species forming part or inhabiting the habitat) are sufficient to ensure that its condition remains healthy and does not deteriorate
Any temporary deterioration in condition is to be disregarded if the habitat is sufficiently healthy and resilient to enable its recovery.
For each species of marine fauna, favourable condition means that the population within a zone is supported in numbers that enable it to thrive, by maintaining:
- the quality and quantity of its habitat
- the number, age and sex ratio of its population
Any temporary reduction of numbers of a species is to be disregarded if the population is sufficiently thriving and resilient to enable its recovery.
Any alteration to a feature brought about entirely by natural processes is to be disregarded when determining whether a protected feature is in favourable condition.
This should be read in conjunction with the accompanying supplementary advice section, which provides more detailed information to help achieve the objectives set out above, including which attributes should be maintained and which recovered.
- Blue mussel beds, Mytilus edulis
- Moderate energy circalittoral rock
- Moderate energy infralittoral rock
- Peat and clay exposures
- Ross worm reefs, Sabellaria spinulosa
- St John’s jellyfish, Lucernariopsis cruxmelitensis
- Subtidal chalk
- Subtidal coarse sediment
- Subtidal mixed sediments
- Subtidal sand
Supplementary advice on conserving and restoring the site features
The supplementary advice aims to describe the range of ecological attributes that are most likely to contribute to a site’s overall integrity.
They show the minimum targets each feature needs to achieve in order to meet the site’s conservation objectives. Some, but not all, of these can also be used for regular monitoring of the actual condition of the designated features.
The attributes selected for monitoring the features, and the standards used to assess their condition, are listed in separate monitoring documents, which will be available from Natural England.
See Thanet Coast MCZ supplementary advice on conserving and restoring site features
You should use this information, along with the conservation objectives and case-specific advice issued by Natural England, when developing, proposing or assessing an activity, plan or project that may affect the site.
Any proposals or operations which may affect the site or its features should be designed so they do not adversely affect any of the attributes in these tables.
The targets given for each attribute do not represent thresholds to assess the significance of any given impact in MCZ assessments. You will need to assess this on a case-by-case basis using the most current information available.
See further guidance on how to undertake an assessment of implications of a proposal on a MCZ is given in Marine Conservation Zones and Marine Licensing.
These tables bring together the findings of the best available scientific evidence, which may be updated or supplemented in further publications from Natural England and other sources. You may decide to use other additional sources of information.
These tables do not give advice about other legally protected species which may also be present within the MCZ.
For further information, you can refer to:
- MCZ summary documents
- EU guidance on species protection
- OSPAR Quality Status Report
- the designation order for Thanet Coast MCZ
Advice on operations
The advice on operations document includes:
- aggregate extraction
- beach management
- coastal development and flood and erosion risk management schemes
- coastal infrastructure
- commercial shipping
- licensed actions
- oil, gas and carbon capture storage
- ports and harbours (construction, maintenance and operation)
- renewable energy
See Thanet Coast MCZ advice on operations tables
How the tables work
The tables show where human activities can cause pressures that may affect the designated features of the site. The assessments give a confidence score and text explaining how the pressure(s) is or could be caused by a given activity.
Table 1 shows the advice on operations table 2 and 3 legend.
Table 2 shows sensitivities in response to pressure for each of the features.
Table 3 shows how pressures are caused by an activity and includes justifications for each of these activity-pressure combinations.
Advice on operations does not consider exposure as part of the sensitivity assessment. You will need to assess both the sensitivity and the exposure of features to existing or proposed activities on a case-by-case basis. High exposure to pressures could adversely affect features with even a low sensitivity to the pressure.
Thanet Coast MCZ is a Marine Protected Area.
For further information about this site contact: Natural England enquiries Telephone: 0300 060 3900. Email: email@example.com
The following organisations can also provide advice and further information. If you are carrying out an environmental assessment, planning an operation or assessing an operation or proposal, it is important to consult with them where applicable:
- the Marine Management Organisation licence, regulate and plan marine activities in the seas around England and Wales so that they’re carried out in a sustainable way
- Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation
- Environment Agency
- Thanet District council
Site improvement plans
Site improvement plans by regions