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Studland Bay Marine Conservation Zone - threat to yachting

There is a significant chance that anchoring will be at best restricted and at worst prohibited completely in Studland Bay.

We have received a request from Parkstone YC to contribute to the formal consultation on the proposals for Studland Bay and the Marine Protection Zone. If agreed these new rules would have a major impact on our ability to use this wonderful area.

Below is an edited version of Parkstone’s letter to their members and friends. Please do click on the DEFRA link below and respond to the questionnaire.

John Hakes, HROA member, is happy to provide further information or to collate any additional points on behalf of Parkstone YC. Please pass on your comments to John via the HROA Forum or by email - his address is in the Membership Directory.

There is a significant chance that anchoring will be at best restricted and at worst prohibited completely in Studland Bay. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is the government’s principal regulator for most activities in English waters. This includes the management of activities in marine protected areas (MPAs). The MMO is currently seeking views on the draft assessment for the Studland Bay MPA.

This is a link to the relevant Defra site https://consult.defra.gov.uk/mmo/call-for-evidence-mmo-mpa-assessments/

Time scales are unfortunately short, the consultation process opened on 28 Oct 2020 and Closes 15 Dec 2020. We would like encourage members of the Fleet and all sailing friends, to submit a response which reflects the serious impact that many of the suggested measures will have on the activities of our sailing community.

The Response button on the Defra site will take you through a range of questions most of which are not relevant to anchoring nor sailing, these can be ignored.

You may wish to consider the following when responding, please let me have any other points you consider important so that they may be shared.

• There is a possibility that with proper management that Anchorage could be maintained in an area within the bay without significantly injuring the biodiversity

• Laying of no cost mooring buoys within the Anchorage would limit damage to a habitat that has ostensibly survived anchoring for many years.

• Studland is a strategic anchorage lying between the West Country and the Solent.

• Studland is a day sail from the West Country. Studland is the only viable strong weather anchorage between Weymouth and the Solent. Denying anchorage within the bay would render this part of the coast less safe

• Many small boats cannot enter Poole harbour on a strong ebb tide. The maintenance of the Anchorage is a major safety consideration.

The more of us who submit our views the stronger our argument!”