Voluntary no-anchor zone created

The Crown Estate and Natural England have announced the implementation of a voluntary no-anchor zone in a small part of Studland Bay, Dorset.

The zone is part of a study of the effects of boat anchoring and moorings on the health of seagrass and associated marine life in the Bay. The zone will be identified on Admiralty Charts.

Spiny and short-snouted seahorses live in the Studland Bay seagrass meadows. These seahorses are now a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, which new status has caused the examination of the possible negative effects of leisure boating. The zone should provide useful results to aid future management.

SeaStar Survey will undertake the study, overseen by representatives of The Crown Estate, Natural England, the Royal Yachting Association and the Chair of the Studland Seagrass and Seahorse Study Group (SSSSG). The zone will be in operation until at least autumn 2011.