Studland Bay 3C's Project

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A partnership brought together by the National Trust is working towards proposals for the sustainable use of Studland Bay.

It is recognised that the sheltered conditions of the bay is highly valued by boat and water users from Poole and further afield along the South Coast. These conditions also help to create an important site for seagrass and the diversity of marine life this habitat supports, such as the protected Spiny Seahorses and Undulate Rays.

The partnership, led by the National Trust, a partnership of conservation organisations, academics and boating organisations aims to devise a solution to meet the needs of recreational boaters and protect the seagrass habitat by achieving these key outcomes:

  1. Produce a mooring plan for Studland Bay by bringing stakeholders to gain agreement on location and timescale and proposed options for long-term funding
  2. Create a draft 10-year management strategy for the bay, that incorporates:
    1. An eco-mooring management plan
    2. Transition away from anchoring and conventional moorings
    3. Seagrass restoration projects
  3. Future governance options paper for the Bay including roles and responsibilities to deliver the strategy.

This work is funded by the Championing Coastal Coordination (3Cs) project which is an Environment Agency initiative with support from Natural England, the Marine Management Organisation and the Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities.

Background and the Voluntary No Anchor Zone

Since the Studland Bay Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) was established in May 2019, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) held a call for evidence seeking views on a draft Studland Bay MCZ marine non-licensable activity assessment and a range of management options. Feedback concluded that management measures would be developed for anchoring, due to the pressure it causes at current levels towards the designated features of the MCZ.

In March 2021, Dorset Coast Forum were appointed to facilitate a formal engagement period to gain further input from stakeholders about three draft anchoring management options. A summary of the engagement can be found in the Studland Bay MCZ Engagement Feedback Report.

From December 2021, the MMO introduced a Voluntary No Anchoring Zone (VNAZ) in part of the bay currently used by recreational craft. The VNAZ will then be expanded during the summer of 2022 (see the MMO's Studland Bay MCZ Habitat Protection Strategy and website for more information). At all times, anchoring in emergency situations will still be permitted.

The MMO have indicated that a sustainable alternative to anchoring in the VNAZ could be achieved through the use of Advanced eco-Mooring Systems (AeMS) to protect the seagrass habitat whilst allowing continued use by recreational craft.

What are the next steps?

Early next year, Dorset Coast Forum will be working with the partners and key stakeholders to draft a 10-year management strategy for Studland Bay. Partners and stakeholder representatives will feed relevant details back to the respective groups and there will be opportunity for the wider public to be involved in the coming months.

A partnership brought together by the National Trust is working towards proposals for the sustainable use of Studland Bay.

It is recognised that the sheltered conditions of the bay is highly valued by boat and water users from Poole and further afield along the South Coast. These conditions also help to create an important site for seagrass and the diversity of marine life this habitat supports, such as the protected Spiny Seahorses and Undulate Rays.

The partnership, led by the National Trust, a partnership of conservation organisations, academics and boating organisations aims to devise a solution to meet the needs of recreational boaters and protect the seagrass habitat by achieving these key outcomes:

  1. Produce a mooring plan for Studland Bay by bringing stakeholders to gain agreement on location and timescale and proposed options for long-term funding
  2. Create a draft 10-year management strategy for the bay, that incorporates:
    1. An eco-mooring management plan
    2. Transition away from anchoring and conventional moorings
    3. Seagrass restoration projects
  3. Future governance options paper for the Bay including roles and responsibilities to deliver the strategy.

This work is funded by the Championing Coastal Coordination (3Cs) project which is an Environment Agency initiative with support from Natural England, the Marine Management Organisation and the Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities.

Background and the Voluntary No Anchor Zone

Since the Studland Bay Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) was established in May 2019, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) held a call for evidence seeking views on a draft Studland Bay MCZ marine non-licensable activity assessment and a range of management options. Feedback concluded that management measures would be developed for anchoring, due to the pressure it causes at current levels towards the designated features of the MCZ.

In March 2021, Dorset Coast Forum were appointed to facilitate a formal engagement period to gain further input from stakeholders about three draft anchoring management options. A summary of the engagement can be found in the Studland Bay MCZ Engagement Feedback Report.

From December 2021, the MMO introduced a Voluntary No Anchoring Zone (VNAZ) in part of the bay currently used by recreational craft. The VNAZ will then be expanded during the summer of 2022 (see the MMO's Studland Bay MCZ Habitat Protection Strategy and website for more information). At all times, anchoring in emergency situations will still be permitted.

The MMO have indicated that a sustainable alternative to anchoring in the VNAZ could be achieved through the use of Advanced eco-Mooring Systems (AeMS) to protect the seagrass habitat whilst allowing continued use by recreational craft.

What are the next steps?

Early next year, Dorset Coast Forum will be working with the partners and key stakeholders to draft a 10-year management strategy for Studland Bay. Partners and stakeholder representatives will feed relevant details back to the respective groups and there will be opportunity for the wider public to be involved in the coming months.

Page last updated: 09 Feb 2022, 11:52 AM