Two Northumberland sites shortlisted as proposed Highly Protected Marine Areas
Defra has announced a consultation on five proposed Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in the UK that will run until the end of September 2022.
The locations include Lindisfarne and ‘North-East of Farnes Deep’ – off the Northumberland coast. Both areas are already Marine Protected Areas, but HPMA status would give them an even higher level of protection.
Lindisfarne has salt marsh, beaches, cliffs, dunes and islands which support important breeding colonies of seabirds such as terns, auks and guillemots, as well as seals.
The North-East of Farnes Deep area has a sand and gravel seabed that, whilst sounding uninteresting, is home to animals such as sea pen and anemones, worms, molluscs and fish.
Dolphins, whales and harbour porpoises use the wider region.
This is great news for the abundant wildlife off the Northumberland coast – let’s hope they get even further protection!