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Studland Bay - what you need to do

oldharry

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The public consultation about Studland Bay MCZ together with Bembridge and Osborne Bays runs until July 20th. This is your chance to put your point of view across. BORG has done a great deal of groundwork, but DEFRA are well aware we are nothing more than a small group of well informed people. Now we need the boating community as a whole to stand up and be counted, and to show DEFRA just how many people feel strongly about this.

Conservation is clearly needed to try and stop the breakdown of marine life in our seas, and ensuring the survival of Seagrasses is an important part of this. However, the proposals in these three key places are based on unfounded and unproven assumptions which almost entirely miss the point and in our view will be intrusive and ineffective. Ineffective not only because anchoring is clearly not a threat to eelgrass, but because the argument over Studland has eclipsed the real dangers to the eelgrass from pollution and commercial activities so that the eelgrass remains at risk. Intrusive, because if the conservation lobby have their way, several beautiful and important anchorages may be closed to us. WE are not opposed to conservation, but we believe the measures proposed simply do not match up to the facts.

A leading Studland Resident has summed it up very clearly:

Hello Again!
Studland Bay has again been recommended by Defra to become an MCZ in their third and hopefully final Tranche. Fortunately Studland has previously been discarded in the first two tranches. Studland was found to be unsuitable due to lack of evidence that the Bay’s flora and fauna needed protection. We are all hopeful that Studland will again be discarded and remain free for all to enjoy. But...

Below is the latest link about Studland;
https://consult.defra.gov.uk/marine/consultation-on-the-third-tranche-of-marine-conser/supporting_documents/Studland Bay Factsheet.pdf

You will note that Anchoring and Moorings are blamed for the Eelgrass beds being in ‘unfavourable condition’.
There is no evidence to prove that Anchoring and Moorings are to blame. Weather (Easterly gales) and Eutrophication may be contributory factors but NOT Boating activity.
The usual nonsense about Seahorses is written into the case. As we have discovered Seahorses are found all around the UK coast, they must therefore breed in those locations. There is nothing significant or unusual about the occasional visiting Seahorse to Studland in the summer months.
If you need further proof of all this have a look at Boat Owners Response Group website;
http://boatownersresponse.org.uk/
And in particular;
http://boatownersresponse.org.uk/evidence/
Or
In brief;
“Key points are that while anchoring has carried on in Studland Bay for decades, the eelgrass (seagrass) has been healthy and expanding in extent, apart from under the fixed chain moorings, as shown by aerial photography and an underwater video survey. No definitive evidence has been produced of any long term damage. Eelgrass is resilient stuff as shown by studies in the scientific literature, if disturbed it is fully capable of re-growing, like so many plants. If anchoring and mooring are banned at Studland, the local boating economy will be hit, to a much greater extent than the Defra document claims, and any conservation gain is likely to be minimal as the eelgrass is flourishing anyway. Our coastline should be regarded as a shared resource, and is important for recreation as well as conservation, and ways are needed to satisfy both demands – as is generally acknowledged.”

Studland Bay is one of the most used Recreational Bays on the South Coast. It would be a great pity for unnecessary restrictions to be imposed which would limit people’s enjoyment.

Please help by making your views known to Defra;
mcz@defra.gsi.gov.uk
and completing the Defra Consultation below and any other means you have of Saving Studland Bay.

ONLINE PUBLIC CONSULTATION available at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/marine/...marine-conser/ .
THE CONSULTATION IS OPEN FOR JUST SIX WEEKS and CLOSES ON JULY 20TH."
 

BelleSerene

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19 Sep 2005
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Great initiative; thank you.

Can you please be clearer about what action can be taken? Is an email sufficient? - you say to email and complete the consultation. Yet the consultation appears to be for industrial interested parties only. BTW, your link doesn't work.
 

nortada

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oldharry

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Why is this a sticky - ‘Cos it’s only 20 miles from the Solent?

Possibly http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?501847-New-environmental-rules-in-the-Blackwatershould become a sticky in the East Coast Forum?

Possibly The South Coast or Just The Solent should have their own sub Forums and leave Scuttlebutt for topics of greater universal interest?

Problem is too meany stickies clutter up a forum. A regular cull of dormant stickies can help.

Just asking.
Im not a Moderator so although I am pleased it is a Sticky, I cant answer your question. However at least in part, there is a basic principle involved which does affect the whole boating community. This is the first MCZ proposal which involves anchor bans and ezxclusion zones within the proposal. There is a constitutional right of 'free navigation' in UK waters. If this recommendation is allowed through unchalleneged on such flimsy evidence, then this will set an extremely dangerous precedent for many other places on the coast. It is not just a local issue. It affects us all in the longer term. Studland just happens to be the focus on this occasion.
 

nortada

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Im not a Moderator so although I am pleased it is a Sticky, I cant answer your question. However at least in part, there is a basic principle involved which does affect the whole boating community. This is the first MCZ proposal which involves anchor bans and ezxclusion zones within the proposal. There is a constitutional right of 'free navigation' in UK waters. If this recommendation is allowed through unchalleneged on such flimsy evidence, then this will set an extremely dangerous precedent for many other places on the coast. It is not just a local issue. It affects us all in the longer term. Studland just happens to be the focus on this occasion.
Old Harry, thanks for getting back and the explanation. I see and accept the point you make.

To be honest my first line was a bit tongue in cheek and from further examination it appears that Scuttlebutt is heavily populated with Solent and it’s Surrounds Sailors so possibly just a change of name.

But just as the East Coast, Bristol Channel and Thames have their own forums, possibly as the densest area There should be a South Coast Forum?

Possibly, so as not to detract from the Studland MCZ issue, this debate should form a new thread?

What do you think?
 

Seajet

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Nortada,

I can't speak for Old Harry,

but the importance of Studland Bay as an anchorage is especially strong for anyone transitting the south coast; it's the only spot of shelter from the prevailing south westerlies for a good many miles in either direction, so not just a nice pretty place to be on a Sunday afternoon, vital in the short handed sailor's battle against the Number One Enemy, Fatigue.
 

MarlynSpyke

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Done.
The link above is a little broken so I have 'Tinyed' it:

https://tinyurl.com/y9owmfcy
SAPurdie's tiny url takes you direct to the consultation pages. The link giving access to the full Defra document is https://consult.defra.gov.uk/marine/consultation-on-the-third-tranche-of-marine-conser/ and the consultation itself is accessed from a button on the page. Factsheets on each site are listed and linked lower down the page. Anchoring restrictions are being mooted only for Studland Bay and for the Bembridge r-MCZ at Priory Bay (eelgrass) and over the maerl beds on Culver Spit . The Studland factsheet is at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/marine/consultation-on-the-third-tranche-of-marine-conser/supporting_documents/Studland Bay Factsheet.pdf Further info about the sites and their features can be found in Natural England's rather sparse "Advice" at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/6079955233931264 and open the Regional Project MCZ one. I'll be posting more stuff shortly, but BORG's evidence and data can be found at http://boatownersresponse.org.uk/ and especially http://boatownersresponse.org.uk/evidence/ , I'll try to highlight some key issues in further postings.
 
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Tranona

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Old Harry, thanks for getting back and the explanation. I see and accept the point you make.

To be honest my first line was a bit tongue in cheek and from further examination it appears that Scuttlebutt is heavily populated with Solent and it’s Surrounds Sailors so possibly just a change of name.

But just as the East Coast, Bristol Channel and Thames have their own forums, possibly as the densest area There should be a South Coast Forum?

Possibly, so as not to detract from the Studland MCZ issue, this debate should form a new thread?

What do you think?
i think the large number of contributors from the north of our islands and the southwest might take exception to this characterisation. it is inevitable that you get many contributors from the south coast - because that has the heaviest concentration of boat owners.
 

MarlynSpyke

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Here are some points about the Public Consultation. Note that this time three different management scenarios for the Studland Bay seagrass beds are suggested, which gives boaters an opportunity to express their views:

“ Scenario 1, the cheapest option, would impose no management measures on anchoring but would require the replacement of the current ‘block-and-chain’ moorings with eco-moorings. Eco-moorings are designed to have very little impact on the seabed by lifting any rope or chain off the seabed at all times preventing the rotating and cutting action of standard moorings.

Scenario 2 would involve the introduction of no-anchoring zones in areas of seagrass, the replacement of the current moorings with eco-moorings and the installation of additional eco-moorings (totalling 100). Outside of the seagrass areas mooring restrictions would not be in place. The costs are associated with the replacement and installation of additional eco-moorings and impact on the economy with displacement of a number of vessels from the region.

Scenario 3 would involve the introduction of no-anchoring zones over the areas of mapped seagrass and the removal of all moorings from the seagrass areas. This scenario is estimated to have the highest cost at £171,000 per year with the majority of this cost associated with the impact on the economy with displacement of a number of vessels from the region.”


Clearly scenario 1 with no management measures on anchoring would be least disruptive to boating interests. A refinement, not stated in the document, might be to combine this with monitoring of the health of the eelgrass beds through aerial (drone) and underwater (submerged pole camera) imagery. Scenario 3 involves a total ban on anchoring.

The questions in the online survey do not directly address the different options, but it should be quite possible to work views on the options in to the answers.
The questions, with some comments, are as follows, I have omitted questions which are not directly relevant to boaters’ interests:

1. Do you agree that this site and specified features should be designated? Please explain and provide evidence to support your views.
In our view the actual evidence indicates that the Seagrass beds in Studland Bay are already in “Favourable condition”, not Unfavourable as claimed by NE

2. Should any changes be made to the boundary of the site? If so what changes would you propose? Please explain and provide evidence to support your views and proposal.

3. Is there any additional evidence to improve the scientific data certainty for features within this site? If yes, please provide evidence using the data submission form.

The actual evidence is that the seagrass beds are flourishing despite ongoing anchoring over many decades. Note the conservation feature is seagrass beds, not individual plants, and that like many other plants, eelgrass recovers rapidly from any minor physical damage which may occur.

5. Do you have any new information on costs to industry not covered in the Impact Assessment that would be directly attributable to these MCZs, as opposed to costs stemming from existing regulatory requirements? If yes, please provide evidence.
The Defra estimate of losses to the local economy are far smaller than our estimates, see http://boatownersresponse.org.uk/Marine-economy-Poole.pdf

6. Do you have any new information on the monetised or quantified benefits of designation? If yes, please specify site and provide evidence.

10. You may wish to provide comments on any other aspects of the consultation proposals. Where you disagree with the proposed approach, please provide evidence where possible to support your views.
 
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nortada

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i think the large number of contributors from the north of our islands and the southwest might take exception to this characterisation. it is inevitable that you get many contributors from the south coast - because that has the heaviest concentration of boat owners.
Agree, if they want one, other centres of sailing around the UK (and beyond) could request their own sub forum.

The attraction of a locally based sub forum is, it captures all current relevant issues in the same place. The East Coast Forum, my own area of interest, is a good example of this.
 

nortada

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Nortada,

I can't speak for Old Harry,

but the importance of Studland Bay as an anchorage is especially strong for anyone transitting the south coast; it's the only spot of shelter from the prevailing south westerlies for a good many miles in either direction, so not just a nice pretty place to be on a Sunday afternoon, vital in the short handed sailor's battle against the Number One Enemy, Fatigue.
Really, originating in the far South West but based on the East Coast, I have frequently trundled back and forth along this bit of coast line and in addition to Studland, I have ducked into Poole, Swanage, Lulworth, Weymouth and even Poole before and after transiting Lime Bay. I fully support the thrust of this thread and believe the argument doesn’t require embellishment. It is always a mistake to make a case that can easily be refuted. Such as Studland constitutes the only safe haven for miles around as this can weaken the whole argument.
 

oldharry

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Really, originating in the far South West but based on the East Coast, I have frequently trundled back and forth along this bit of coast line and in addition to Studland, I have ducked into Poole, Swanage, Lulworth, Weymouth and even Poole before and after transiting Lime Bay. I fully support the thrust of this thread and believe the argument doesn’t require embellishment. It is always a mistake to make a case that can easily be refuted. Such as Studland constitutes the only safe haven for miles around as this can weaken the whole argument.
I have ensured at each stage of the process that the safety factor has been included in the arguments and assessments so the points Seajet makes were in the papers we submitted at each phase of the process. Nortada makes a valid point, and whenever this particular issue has been raised it has been shouted down by the career conservationists, who invariably claim that anchoring 'in an emergency' would of course take precedence. I then ask them to define 'emergency': Lifeboats, helos. coastguard etc. "S'obvious innit?' The real question whether a boat will be justified anchoring in an MCZ NAZ in order to prevent an emergency cannot be answered, nor can it be legally quantified, because the emergency hasn't happened - yet. So if if a boat has a problem or crew are getting overtired, will we be justified in anchoring anyway before we make silly mistakes due to fatigue, leading to a lifeboat or helo call out? The mere risk of being prosecuted is likely to make us push on into potential danger and even loss of life. In 8 years nobody has even tried to answer that one, yet it is a fundamental safety issue.
 
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MarlynSpyke

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It is always a mistake to make a case that can easily be refuted. Such as Studland constitutes the only safe haven for miles around as this can weaken the whole argument.
Quite so. Personally if staying overnight in that area I prefer to anchor within Poole Harbour, fully sheltered from all directions, although that does mean a small diversion if on passage along the coast. To many, the appeal of Studland Bay is as a beautiful scenic daytime stop, with a cafe and a great pub for those who want it, and there are few anchorages along the central south coast to rival it. This is a valuable recreational amenity we do not wish to lose.
 

Seajet

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I have trundled along the south coast many times - this year is my own boat's 40th anniversary for a start - and I can confidently say Studland is the only 24/7 place of shelter from SW gales between the Solent and maybe Brixham - when I proposed a passage plan involving a stay and rest there for a husband and wife crew heading west to my Yachtmaster examiner - a veteran of HMS Exeter and the Battle Of The River Plate plus every Fastnet Race - he agreed, that's good enough for me.
 

nortada

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I have used Weymouth and Poole on a number of occasions, they have always provided a safe haven.

I never challenge the experiences of others but during my time with Joint Services, I frequently used Gosport out round the island and direct Dartmouth as a Yachmaster qualifying leg.

As most of my passages were between October and March (hate The Solent in the summer), I had my share of adverse weather so with a doubtful forecast, Gosport - Dartmouth at night, provided a number of safe havens so was a better option then Gosport - Cherbourg another Yachmaster qualifying leg.

This is why I offer that, to claim Studland as the only safe haven in the area, could be refuted so is not a good argument to counter a ban on anchoring and possibly other sanctions.

In another life part of my job was to look for weaknesses in argument and it is from this background I offer this advice.

Oh yes, a Plymouth man, my father knew HMS Exeter well but I don’t think he ever anchored in Studland Bay.;)
 
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Seajet

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Nortada,

would you care to suggest another safe anchorage protected from the prevailing SW gales between the Solent and Brixham ?
 

Tranona

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I have used Weymouth and Poole on a number of occasions, they have always provided a safe haven.

I never challenge the experiences of other but during my time with Joint Services, I frequently used Gosport out round the island and direct Dartmouth as a Yachmaster qualifying leg.

As most of my passages were between October and March (hate The Solent in the summer), I had my share of adverse weather so with a doubtful forecast, Gosport - Dartmouth at night, provided a number of safe havens so was a better option then Gosport - Cherbourg another Yachmaster qualifying leg.

This is why I offer that, to claim Studland as the only safe haven in the area, could be refuted so is not a good argument to counter a ban on anchoring and possibly other sanctions.

In another life part of my job was to look for weaknesses in argument and it is from this background I offer this advice.

Oh yes, a Plymouth man, my father knew HMS Exeter well but I don’t think he ever anchored in Studland Bay.;)
While there are several harbours along the coast they are mostly a significant deviation from the direct line from the Solent to the west country. Studland is a comfortable tide away from a start in the mid Solent and many yachts make a stop there to wait out a tide - going either way, or waiting for a flood tide to enter Poole. You only have to anchor there (as I do regularly) to appreciate how many boats use the anchorage in that way. Inevitably when a depression comes through, many boats stick it out in the shelter waiting for the worst of the SW winds to die down, particularly if planning to go west. As seajet says it is the only roadstead anchorage between the Solent and Brixham that is suitable for this.

There are of course the weekend playground visitors who go there for the beach and watersport activities and they usually anchor further in close to the beach or play on their toys outside the swimming area, but in the week most boats anchor further out to have a break before resuming their passage.
 

Seajet

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Well as Lt Colonel Jack O' Neil of Stargate SG1 would say, ' Spank Me Rosey ! ' Tranona seems to agree with something I said ! :)
 
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