National designated sites: marine nature reserves
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), the relevant statutory nature conservation agency can apply to the Secretary of State to establish Marine Nature Reserves:
- to conserve marine fauna, flora or geological of physiographical features; or
- for the purpose of research or study of such special features.
Byelaws may be made to protect marine nature reserves.
Recent marine legislation has made it possible to establish Marine Conservation Zones (known as Marine Protected Areas in Scotland). These are different from marine nature reserves. For more information click here.