Lundy MCZ is an inshore site that covers a rectangular area of 31 km2 around Lundy Island. Situated 19 km off the North Devon coast, Lundy is the largest island in the Bristol Channel. The marine area around Lundy has long been recognised for its ecological importance and as such was established as England’s first Marine Nature Reserve (NMR) in 1986. When the Marine and Coastal Access Act came into force in 2009 the site was converted from an NMR to a MCZ in January 2010. The MCZ boundary is identical to the boundary of Lundy Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and contains an existing no-take zone.
Lundy’s unique situation in the mouth of the Bristol Channel means it is subject to a range of environmental conditions. Both sheltered and exposed areas can be found with some being subject to strong tidal currents and waves. The seabed landscape varies considerably with steeply sloping, vertical and overhanging underwater cliffs all present within the site. The combination of these physical conditions supports a range of complex biological communities, making the area a biodiversity hotspot. Reefs, sandbanks, seacaves and grey seals are already protected as features within the area under the SAC; the MCZ offers additional protection for Spiny lobster that was not previously protected.
Designated as part of the first tranche of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in the UK. In November 2013 the minister announced the designation of 27 MCZs in English inshore and English and Welsh offshore waters and outlined plans for future zones. You can see the location of the 27 designated sites and find out further information about each site at JNCC Interactive Map.
Marine Conservation Zones protect areas that are important to conserve the diversity of nationally rare, threatened and representative habitats and species. Designation of these zones takes social and economic factors into account, alongside the best available scientific evidence.
Management measures will be put in place by the regulators (Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs)) on a site by site basis. Natural England and the JNCCwill advise the regulators about the vulnerability of the features included within the Designation Order and activities that are currently occurring within the site that will have a negative impact on the protected features.