Wyre & Lune

Wyre and Lune

Marine Conservation Zone

Wyre Estuary

93 Sq Km
329 Km perimeter

This site has been proposed for the protection of breeding populations of smelt, also known as the cucumber fish due to its distinctive cucumber-like smell. The Wyre and Lune Estuaries are also important for many species wading birds that find plenty of food here.

The area is made up of two estuaries that form saltmarsh where the rivers meet the sea. Saltmarsh is formed by plants that are highly tolerant of salt and can thrive even when they are often submerged by the tide.

This habitat is important as it provides a nursery ground for fish to mature and improve their chances of reaching maturity. Without shelter, breeding is less successful as juveniles contend with the harsh reality of living in the open water. Species of both commercial and conservation importance are present here, and are vital for seabirds to feed on.

The Lune is currently protected by the Morecambe Bay Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area, while the Wyre is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The addition of a Marine Conservation Zone will complement these designations and provide much needed protection for smelt which are not covered under the current designations.

These estuaries are home to many species of fish that are not only important for us but also create a rich feeding ground for waders and seabirds
Wyre and Lune

Contains UKHO Law of the Sea data. Crown copyright and database right and contains Ordnance Survey Data Crown copyright and database 2012.

Bottlenose dolphins © John MacPherson/2020VISION

Bottlenose dolphins © John MacPherson/2020VISION

Wyre & Lune

Smelt populations have shown a marked decline within the UK and the Government has international responsibility to protect the species.

We need your help to ensure that this site is included in the third and final phase of designations.

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Other Marine Conservation Zones nearby