Bexhill and Battle MP meets minister to press case for conservation zone

David Rutley, Environment minister, Huw Merriman and Amber Rudd SUS-180615-110247001
David Rutley, Environment minister, Huw Merriman and Amber Rudd SUS-180615-110247001

Bexhill’s MP Huw Merriman has welcomed the news that parts of his constituency will be included in a consultation to become a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ).

The site, known as Beachy Head East, includes beaches off Pevensey, Normans Bay and Bexhill.

Mr Merriman said: “I am delighted that Beachy Head East has been included in the consultation to become a Marine Conservation Zone which is taking place over the next six weeks.

“This is really positive news for our area and, if successful, will bring great benefits to our local beaches, marine life and our visitor economy.

“I would encourage businesses and residents to take part in the consultation to support the creation of a new Marine Conservation Zone off our shores. I saw the Environment Minister on Wednesday to press the case for our constituency.”

Beachy Head East is one of 41 proposed MCZs to be included.

Earlier this year Mr Merriman met with representatives of the local sea angling community and the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to discuss the proposal to designate a MCZ between Eastbourne and Hastings.

The area is characterised by a sandstone and chalk reef system which is home to a wealth of marine wildlife.

There are also blue mussel beds, including the Bexhill Mussel Garden, which is a fragile living reef and host to many marine species.

This week’s news has also been welcomed by the MCS.

Sandy Luk, MCS chief executive officer, said: “With every one of them designated, we will have enough of the sea in protected areas to provide a fantastic foundation for ensuring marine life can recover and thrive.

“It is fantastic to have this last set of sites proposed after much painstaking work since 2009, when the process to select special places deserving protection began.”

To take part in the consultation visit www.mcsuk.org/mpa.