Thank you for your interest in our online petition . It has been created by the SAVE STUDLAND BAY facebook group who are hoping to keep the beautiful Studland Bay free from any restrictions on 1000's of people who enjoy its safe beaches and sheltered shallow waters every year.
Natural England submitted Studland Bay as a proposed MARINE CONSERVATION AREA On 28 Feb 2017. It is currently being considered by DEFRA and may go for Public Consultation by September 2017 before becoming a MCZ in Spring 2018 Natural England have recommended that the whole of Studland Bay becomes a Marine Conservation Zone as early as Feb 2018 and Dorset Wildlife Trust has published their future plans for the Bay including restricting boats and only allowing boats to anchor in bad weather.
We are totally against this as it could lead to the bay being littered with up to 150 extra eco moorings throughout the year. It would be a total waste of public funds as these moorings can cost up to £3500 each to install and there is no evidence that in the available depths in Studland Bay (2.0 metres) that they would benefit the seagrass meadow because their tackle could still rest and drag on the seabed at low tide. The anchorage only gets busy at weekends ,which would mean 150 unoccupied bright coloured EFM buoys littering the beautiful land and seascape for 75 % of the time. There are already 51 locals boat moorings that have been established for over 50 years of which 20 can be used by visiting boats ,12 are for very small local boats and dinghies and 10 are de-buoyed and dropped only to be recovered for July and August .
After 10 years Conservationists are still claiming that Studland Bay has the only known breeding site for both species of British Seahorse and we strongly contest this as records show that both species have been found breeding at Weymouth, Bembridge, Dartmouth, Penzance ,Poole Harbour, The Solent, Southampton Water, The Channel Islands , West Sussex Coast . They also claim that Native Oysters can be found in the bay ,which has never been the case according to local fishermen .
Therefore we contest the presence of native oysters and the myth that Studland Bay is the only known breeding site for both species of Seahorse which leaves only the presence of 3 Undulate Rays and the, as yet to be proved allegation that boats are causing long term damage to the seagrass meadows with their anchors as a basis for creating a full blown restricted and managed Marine Conservation Zone in Studland Bay. We believe this is totally unjustified and will ruin the enjoyment for all but a handful of career conservationists.Studland Bay is one of the most popular anchorages on the English South Coast and provides a safe haven for small boats to shelter in when there are Strong to Storm Force Winds from the South,South West and Westerly directions.The 3,5 miles of safe sandy beaches are ideal for families as there are no tidal currents ,and the surrounding shoreline is owned and well managed by The National Trust . Despite Conservationists claims on TV and in the Media, A recent 2 year survey funded by The Crown Estate could not find any evidence that anchoring has any impact on the huge area of Seagrass off the South Beach . This is one bit of the Dorset Coast we'd like kept free for humans and sealife to enjoy together as they have for hundreds of years .
We believe that restrictions will be put on where families can paddle in the sea at low tide and there will be seasonal restrictions on where people can walk on the beach due to nesting birds .
Don't let this beautiful bay and beach fall into the management of Wildlife Conservationists who could restrict human activities and right of our children to enjoy Studland as we all have . So please help us in our struggle to keep Studland Bay free from all restrictions by signing this petition and visiting http://boatownersresponse.org.uk/ for more evidence .