Marine Protected Areas

© Heather Davison-Smith
From the rocky, high-cliffs of North Yorkshire, punctuated by golden sandy beaches, to the hidden coves and bays around the white cliffs of Flamborough, and along the ever-changing dynamic Holderness coast which fades into the sea at Spurn Point, the Yorkshire coastline is a truly unique and diverse seascape.

Many areas along the Yorkshire coast are protected through regional, national and international designations, reflecting the importance and distinctive nature of our coastline.  There are many types of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), but all are created to support the long-term health and productivity of our marine and coastal environment.

Managing MPAs

A number of different public authorities have statutory duties to protect and manage MPAs.  The YMNP supports and facilitates this duty through the MPA Management Group. 

This group works to ensure that Yorkshire’s MPAs are managed appropriately, and that each protected area is considered both individually and on an ecosystem-scale.  By working collaboratively, we can share our ideas and knowledge across the region, which helps to make sure that any management issues are dealt with effectively and consistently.

Conservation Advice has been produced for each MPA, to help regulators, developers, user-groups and wider stakeholders understand their responsibilities towards these sensitive and unique sites.  The Designated Sites System holds a wealth of information about why each site is designated, how it should be managed, what pressures the site is under, and how different activities may impact the features of the MPA.  Click on the images below to find out more about Yorkshire’s MPAs, or follow this link to learn about the different types of protected area.

What are MPAs?


Learn how the YMNP encourages and enables responsible use and enjoyment of the marine environment.

Learn More

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