Natural England Conservation Advice for Marine Protected Areas
Folkestone Pomerania MCZ

Natural England guidance

This site collection contains Natural England’s conservation advice for this site. It fulfils Natural England’s responsibility under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, to give advice on how to further the conservation objectives for the site, identify the activities that are capable of affecting the designated features and the processes which they are dependent upon.

Natural England's conservation advice for this site is made up of a number of components. You will need to consider: Additional information for consideration:

Site information

Site name: Folkestone Pomerania MCZ
Designation type: MCZ
Site identification: UKMCZ0006
Latest designation date: 12 December 2013
Designated features
(click to see site specific description):

General information on the site features:
The general information on the designated features from the MCZ features catalogue is useful for understanding the designated features, and should be used in conjunction with the site specific information.
Designated area (ha): 33.71
Overlapping Protected Areas:

Last updated: 13th September 2019

Background information and geography

Folkestone Pomerania is composed of high energy circalittoral rock with extensive areas of subtidal sand and coarse sediment. The site also supports two types of biogenic reefs, ross worm reef (Sabellaria spinulosa) and the honeycomb worm reef (Sabellaria alveolata) as well as fragile sponge and anthozoan communities.

Within the site, water depth and seabed composition varies, creating a range of habitats capable of supporting a diverse range of species. Subtidal coarse sediment and sand are dominant, covering approximately 93% of the site. Smaller areas of high energy circalittoral rock are also found, however, given the highly mobile state of the sand and coarse sediment, their exposure is susceptible to change. The site is characterised by its distinctive large depressions in the seabed, where the relatively flat topography drops from 22m down to 30m through a progression of boulder-strewn slopes. Exposed rock ledges are found at the top edges of these depressions. These support attached fauna including sponges, hydroids and anemones, and providing holes and crevices for mobile species such as crabs and fish. This rocky habitat also supports the fragile sponge and anthozoan communities. Both the ross and the honeycomb worm exhibit unusual occurrences, the ross worm (Sabellaria spinulosa) has an uncommon combination of animals associated with it and the subtidal location of the honeycomb reef makes it exceptional. Commercially important fish species including sole, cod, mackerel and herring are known to use this area as a nursery and spawning ground.

Site maps

Use the MAGIC website to see site maps, including habitats, species and other marine designations.

These maps are based on best available evidence, there are some caveats associated with the maps on MAGIC.

The dynamic nature of habitat features and supporting habitats for mobile species is illustrated where data is available, as new evidence becomes available these maps will be updated with our current knowledge of their known extent.

Conservation objectives

The site’s conservation objectives apply to the Marine Conservation Zone and the individual species and/or habitat for which the site has been designated (the “Designated features” are listed below).

The conservation objective of the zone is that the protected features:

  1. are maintained in favourable condition if they are already in favourable condition
  2. be brought into favourable condition if they are not already in favourable condition

For each protected feature, favourable condition means that, within a zone both:

  1. its extent is stable or increasing
  2. its structure and function, its quality, and the composition of its characteristic biological communities (including diversity and abundance of species forming part or inhabiting the habitat) are sufficient to ensure that it remains in a condition which is healthy and does not deteriorate

Any temporary deterioration in condition is to be disregarded if the habitat is sufficiently healthy and resilient to enable its recovery. Any alteration to a feature brought about entirely by natural processes is to be disregarded when determining whether a protected feature is in favourable condition. This should be read in conjunction with the accompanying supplementary advice section, which provides more detailed information to help achieve the objectives set out above, including which attributes should be maintained and which restored.

Designated features:

  • Fragile sponge and anthozoan communities on subtidal rocky habitats
  • High energy circalittoral rock
  • Honeycomb worm (Sabellaria alveolata) reef
  • Ross worm(Sabellaria spinulosa) reef
  • Subtidal coarse sediment
  • Subtidal sand

Supplementary Advice on Conservation Objectives

See supplementary advice on conservation objectives for this site, which aim to describe the range of ecological attributes that are most likely to contribute to a site’s overall integrity.

Last updated: 16th May 2016

Advice on Operations

See the advice on operations for this site to view information on the sensitivity of features in this site to the pressures exerted by different activities.

Last updated: 13th March 2020

Feature Condition

In 2016, Natural England trialled and rolled out a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) condition assessment methodology that provides robust results and information on the condition of marine features designated within MPAs in England. With guidance from National teams and using all available evidence and condition monitoring data, Area Teams conduct these assessments following a standardised approach that assesses if the feature and sub feature conservation targets set for each MPA have been met.

To date, condition assessments have been completed for a number of features in a range of marine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) by the National and Area Teams. Further marine habitat features in SACs and other MPAs will continue to be assessed in the future. The new method can now also be applied to complete habitat and species condition assessments for other MPAs in England, whilst still meeting the different processes in place to report on the results of condition of features in Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). Different processes are currently in place to decide and report on the condition of non-marine habitat and species features of SACs.

The main part of the assessment process is directly undertaken and stored here on Natural England’s Designated Sites View. The details for the most recent assessments of this site can be found here.

Management measures

If you are carrying out an environmental assessment, planning an operation or assessing an operation or proposal, it is important to consult with the following organisations where applicable. To find out if any management measures, byelaws or other restrictions apply to your activity see the management measure page or you can use the following links for more information.

The Marine Management Organisation license, regulate and plan marine activities in the seas around England and Wales so that they’re carried out in a sustainable way.
Environment Agency are responsible for regulating major industry and waste, water quality and resources, fisheries, inland river, estuary and harbour navigations, conservation and ecology.
Offshore Petroleum Regulator for the Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED) regulates oil and gas, CCS and gas storage activities in the marine environment.

Further information

For further information relating to this designated site you can refer to the following resources:
Site specific information: Other information:
For further information about this site contact: Natural England enquiries Telephone: 0300 060 3900. Email: