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Studland Bay - what you need to do

ryanroberts

Active member
Joined
25 Jul 2019
Messages
683
Further to a letter I am putting together for my MP.


I was planning to reprise some information from Natural England, where sites in Plymouth Sound were assessed by them as "satisfactory" in both 2009 and 2012 (see here from YBW 2018: Eel Grass and Anchoring in Cawsand Bay, Cornwall )

Imagine my surprise when I found that these pages were no longer accessible, or easily accessible, to the general public. If anyone took hard copies of these documents or has the skills to open them, it would be most helpful:

2009
publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/4991709209952256
2012
publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/4797619915194368


.
I think they changed their url scheme so those exact links don't work, but there's an archive.org snapshot from 2012:

Natural England Publications and Products
 

Tradewinds

Well-known member
Joined
12 Jan 2003
Messages
3,435
Location
Suffolk
Further to a letter I am putting together for my MP.


I was planning to reprise some information from Natural England, where sites in Plymouth Sound were assessed by them as "satisfactory" in both 2009 and 2012 (see here from YBW 2018: Eel Grass and Anchoring in Cawsand Bay, Cornwall )

Imagine my surprise when I found that these pages were no longer accessible, or easily accessible, to the general public. If anyone took hard copies of these documents or has the skills to open them, it would be most helpful:

2009
publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/4991709209952256
2012
publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/4797619915194368


.
Here you go - downloaded for me ok. Here are links to my Dropbox folder.
RP0839 edition 1.PDF
RP01044 edition 1.pdf
 

Tomahawk

Well-known member
Joined
5 Sep 2010
Messages
18,567
Location
Where life is good
Interesting.
Have just looked at the RYA website and searched on "Studland Bay". It comes up with.....



zilch nada, no results.
If the RYA is supposed to represent the interests of people who own boats, I would have thought there would be something about it.
 

Lodestone

New member
Joined
11 Apr 2021
Messages
13
Something to read "Assessing the impact of environmental pressures on seagrass Blue Carbon stocks in the British Isles " Lots of lovely assertions about anchoring.
https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104698/1/Alix Green_Thesis_10_07_20.pdf

Worth cross checking whether the references she cites are based on UK research. There's a lot a lot of supposition and estimation going into assessments of UK seagrass habitat loss. I think, plainly put, they don't know how much but are happy to talk the figures up.
 

MarlynSpyke

Member
Joined
4 May 2012
Messages
115
Location
Ruislip
We need to draw attention to this paper:

The perilous state of seagrass in the British Isles
Benjamin L. Jones
and
Richard K. F. Unsworth
Published:01 January 2016https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.150596
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.150596

It is a thorough survey, clearly written and easy to follow. First sentence:

"Seagrass ecosystems face widespread threat from reduced
water quality, coastal development and poor land use. In
recent decades, their distribution has declined rapidly, and in
the British Isles, this loss is thought to have been extensive."

Water quality, in particular high levels of nitrate and phosphate from sewage and ground run-off water, is shown to be the major factor in seagrass loss, anchoring is only mentioned in passing.

This is perhaps too complex for some of these eco-dimwits and obsessives, who can however grasp that anchors make holes in the seabed and therefore "must" cause damage. The fact that many natural systems have evolved recovery mechanisms to repair damage is perhaps also too complex to grasp. Eelgrass, particularly in places like Studland Bay which is open to incoming waves from the east, has evolved to recover from occasional rough weather which can - and does - uproot it. The same power of regrowth is why we still have good beds of eelgrass in the Studland anchorage.

But generally it thrives best in well-sheltered locations, which of course are usually the most suitable places to anchor. We can expect an ongoing anti-anchor campaign from eco-dimwits and seahorse huggers. Studland Bay could just be the start of a process to outlaw the anchoring of boats in many places.
 
Last edited:

Lodestone

New member
Joined
11 Apr 2021
Messages
13
The problem is that 'they' admit that they can't do anything about terrestrial develment etc. so marine activities are the soft underbelly.

Looking at HPMA's generally it might galvanise all marine leisure users if they realise that the seagrass faction don't want them near their herbaceous border either. No canoes, SIBS, paddle boards or dinghies dragged over it please. No shore divers allowed to walk outetc.
 

Lodestone

New member
Joined
11 Apr 2021
Messages
13
The comments for this particular photo say it all.....https://twitter.com/abbilscott/status/639496815293952000/photo/3
 

Boathook

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Joined
5 Oct 2001
Messages
4,864
Location
Surrey & boat in Dorset. Both have pubs
The comments for this particular photo say it all.....
Just looks like slimy weed that you find on slipways, etc. The comments seem to be by those just jumping on the conservation bandwagon. I am getting worried about boating in the UK and the fact that we will all be forced to stay in marinas when away from home berth. I like marinas for access to facilities, towns, shops, etc but enjoy anchoring even more.
 

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
33,084
That post is more than 5 years old and really not connected with anything - except Steve Trehwalla responded with his usual diatribe about the 300 gin palaces moored there every weekend even though his accompanying photo shows mostly small yachts, and nowhere near 300!
 

MarlynSpyke

Member
Joined
4 May 2012
Messages
115
Location
Ruislip
Have you seen this?.... Spectacular seagrass | Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

HIWWT name anchoring as a threat to seagrass. They invite people to 'take action' and 'add your name' which leads to an email petition for HPMA's.
Highly Protected Marine Areas according to a government document would impose a blanket ban on anchoring:

"To benefit from high levels of protection, many activities within HPMAs should cease after site designation. For example, fishing, construction, dredging, sewage and other discharges, dumping, littering and anchoring are not compatible with achieving recovery[footnote 3]. However, HPMAs would not be ‘no‑go zones’ and people could visit and use them for non‑damaging levels of recreational activities such as surfing, scuba diving and kayaking. "
(Benyon review Into Highly Protected Marine Areas: Final report - executive summary )

Note their "non‑damaging levels of recreational activities" examples do not include sailing or motor boating.

The report also says "HPMAs should be located within existing MPAs as the existing site will act as a buffer zone to the HPMA."

So we must beware of moves to ratchet up existing Marine Protected Areas, which include MCZ's, into HPMA's. This threat extends way beyond Studland Bay.

Leisure marine interests need to get their act together on this one, that means all of us.
 

alahol2

Well-known member
Joined
22 Apr 2004
Messages
5,287
Location
Portchester, Solent
I sent a rather intemperate email to cruising@RYA.org.uk condemning their apparent acceptance of anchor damage.
I got a reply from Phil Horton, their Environment and Sustainability Manager, summarising their position thus...

  • To support the need to protect sensitive habitats and species, and to balance that with the need to protect the rights of recreational boaters and other users of the area.
  • Not to challenge the scientific basis for action. Natural England and the MMO have a statutory duty to protect the designated habitats and species within the Studland Bay Marine Conservation Zone. This duty is based on international treaties and national designations. The MMO and Natural England responded to questions around the science both in their site assessment and at the consultation meetings.
  • To firmly challenge the consultation and decision-making processes and their likely impact on conservation objectives. This challenge is based on experience of similar coastal zone consultations, where lack of buy-in to decisions by statutory bodies led to conflict and failure of conservation measures. Our view is that any restrictions, whether voluntary or not, need the agreement of users of the area and should be the result of an adequately funded consultation process of suitable duration. Such a process needs to address both conservation and mitigation measures, such as the provision of moorings, with the latter requiring identified funding to support the buy in of boaters
and including THIS position statement.

My heart sinks...
 

Lodestone

New member
Joined
11 Apr 2021
Messages
13
That post is more than 5 years old and really not connected with anything - except Steve Trehwalla responded with his usual diatribe about the 300 gin palaces moored there every weekend even though his accompanying photo shows mostly small yachts, and nowhere near 300!
I agree that it is an old post but it shows you just how narrow their perspective is and that there is a fairly large community of seagrass would-be pundits.
They clearly don't want anyone other than themselves near the stuff and so the effect of their efforts will hurt the wider public - no children mudlarking etc.
 
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