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Coastal protection zone to be extended

Nesting gannets and guillemots at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.
Nesting gannets and guillemots at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Seabirds breeding along the Yorkshire coast will be afforded additional protection following the expected designation of a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) around Flamborough and Filey.

The Flamborough and Filey Coast Special Protection Area (SPA) will build on existing designations along this internationally-important stretch of coastline to ensure further protection for the UK’s largest mainland seabird colony, both on the cliffs and within inshore waters.

The new designation will include protection for all species of seabird nesting around Flamborough and Filey, including the colourful puffin and the UK’s largest seabird, the gannet, which has a wing span of up to two metres.

Jeremy Pickles, chair of the management partnership that looks after the various Marine Protected Areas around Flamborough and Filey, said: “We are pleased to welcome this announcement from the Government.

“Our seabirds are under significant pressure from international issues, such as climate change, and therefore it is important that we provide safe breeding areas for these iconic species.

“The expected designation has already been incorporated into our management plan and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners to ensure this magnificent area for wildlife is effectively and appropriately managed.”