Flamborough Head NTZ
Protecting and restoring Flamborough Head

Author: Heather Davison

Location: East Riding of Yorkshire

The Flamborough Head No Take Zone (NTZ) is a special area, between Danes Dyke and Sewerby Steps on the Yorkshire coast, where the removal of any fish, shellfish or marine plant, by any method, from the beach or sea is strictly prohibited. That means people can enjoy exploring the rockpools and the beach, but are not allowed to take anything from the area.

NTZs are a type of Marine Protected Area, a designated space in the ocean which works very similar to the parks we have on land, protecting important habitats and marine life. The NTZ helps us to protect the environment and learn more about how we can conserve our natural resources.

Established in 2010 as the only area in the North Sea which is fully protected from all damaging human activities, Flamborough Head NTZ is positioned in an area where cooler waters from the north meet warmer waters coming up from the south, creating a nutrient-rich environment where marine creatures can thrive.

Flamborough Head was developed in partnership with the local authority, nature conservation bodies, fisheries managers and the local fishing community, who worked together to find the most appropriate location. Stretching 1km along the shoreline and 700m offshore, the NTZ protects important seabed habitat which is home to many species of seaweed, blue mussels, crabs and lobsters.

The area is frequently patrolled by the North Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NEIFCA) to ensure that no fishing, collection or any other extractive activities are undertaken in the area. Additionally, regular surveys are completed to monitor the condition of the site and the diversity of its species.

The NTZ sits within the Flamborough Head European Marine Site, which protects Flamborough’s unique chalk habitat and internationally-important seabird populations, including kittiwakes, puffins and the only mainland colony of gannets in England.

Flamborough Head is playing an important role in supporting a healthier marine environment and helping to restore the productivity of the North Sea. Healthier and more productive seas also generate a number of benefits to key coastal industries, such as tourism and fisheries.