Marina group partners with The Seahorse Trust in conservation effort

Charity The Seahorse Trust and marina group boatfolk have joined forces to deliver what they say is a practical solution for conserving Studland Bay’s unique marine environment.

The two organisations have collaborated on a not-for-profit scheme to put ten ‘eco-moorings’ into Studland Bay to give boaters an alternative to dropping their anchors, in an area known for its seagrass beds and Spiny Seahorse population, which was protected in 2008 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Supported by letters from high-profile conservation advocates including Chris Packham and Steve Backshall, the organisations’ eco-mooring proposal was recently approved by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and installation of the new eco-moorings is now underway.

Eco-moorings involve a helical screw anchor being driven into the seabed, with an elastic rode connecting the anchor system to the mooring buoy. The elastic rode stretches at higher tides and contracts at lower tides so no part of the system scours the seabed around it.

Designated as a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in 2019, Studland Bay is popular with sailors and motorboaters alike, and recently there has been some controversy as to how its status as an MCZ will affect recreational boating activities.

“The designation of Studland Bay as a Marine Conservation Zone was a long-awaited and hugely significant moment in safeguarding UK seahorse populations,” says Neil Garrick-Maidment, founder and executive director of The Seahorse Trust. “It is now vital that the area is effectively protected and that everyone who uses the bay does so responsibly and sustainably. I am delighted to be working with boatfolk to develop a practical solution, which allows boaters to continue enjoying this remarkable site, in a way which also enables the conservation of rare seagrass meadows and crucial seahorse breeding grounds.”

Michael Prideaux, managing director of boatfolk comments: “In late August, I met Neil on the beach at Studland Bay. We were united by our shared passion for the environment and by a desire to work with, and alongside, the boating community for a solution that everyone can get behind. Providing an alternative option at Studland that protects this incredible marine environment is about doing the right thing for boaters and for our planet. Financial return is not an objective here; we are committed to making Studland Bay a sustainable boating destination for generations to come and are proud to be putting our name and resources behind the scheme.”

The eco-moorings form part of boatfolk’s wider sustainability strategy, Coastline Deadline, its new platform which it says is designed to back projects which have a positive and measurable impact on the coastline.

Spotlight Job

Technical key account manager

Welwyn Garden City (hybrid)

Specialty chemicals company Sika is looking for a technical key account manager to drive business growth and foster strong relationships with key accounts within the marine sector.

Full job description »

Comments are closed.

This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

Skip to content