Coastal and Marine

The Coastal and Marine Working Group has a membership drawn from many of the coastal protected landscapes in the UK, national conservation agencies and from NGOs. Chaired by our board member, Tim Venes, the group’s work is to promote the principles and agenda set out in the 2007 report “Making the Connections between Land and Sea”.

With marine planning and the designation of marine protected areasin progress around many parts of the UK, the Manifesto for Coasts and Seascapes published in April 2011, also provide additional focus and guidance on the issues raised, including seascape character assessment.

Articles of Interest

Emerging themes to support ambitious UK marine biodiversity conservation

Meetings and Webinars

Past Events

Seascape Sensitivity and Visual Buffers: Latest Approaches and Guidance Part 1: Visual buffers wednesday 2020

Offshore wind farms are now well established and more substantial development is in the pipeline including extensions, Crown Estate Round 3 proposals and the current Round 4 bidding areas.

Some of the proposed developments are located in areas intervisible with nationally designated landscapes.
This webinar explores current best practice and policy/decisions and focusses on the distances at which wind turbines may have a significant effects on designated, and other, coasts. This includes analysis of all available seascape and visual impact assessments and marine visibility modifiers.

Speaker: Simon White (Director, White Consultants)- main author: ‘Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment: Update of Seascape and Visual Buffer Study for Offshore Wind Farms’, BEIS, 2020.

Listen here

Part 2 – Seascape character sensitivity 2020

The second part of this webinar considers seascape sensitivity- first looking at national guidance for England and moving onto an assessment of seascape sensitivity to offshore wind farms in Wales.

The guidance prepared for the Marine Management Organisation shows how to carry out an assessment of sensitivity for all types of marine development. The webinar will explore the process, principles and who can use it.

The Welsh assessment, carried out before the MMO approach, specifically considers offshore windfarms and is driven primarily by potential effects on designated landscapes. The rationale and findings will be explored.

Listen here

Links to documents mentioned in the webinar can be found here

Coastal Site Visits

Durham Heritage Coast  2019

Lead officer – Niall Benson, Durham Heritage Coast Officer
Main themes – history, legacy issues and opportunities, management challenges, Beach Care, HLF SeaScapes project, inshore management, democratic deficit.
The Durham Heritage Coast is a great example of how different organisations have worked together to transform an industrial landscape into a nationally recognised Heritage Coast landscape, providing a range of cultural, natural, and geological places of interest, stunning coastal views and beaches and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

The Heritage Coast partnership has recently been successful in securing the first HLF marine Landscape Partnership funding which will help to deliver 30 projects set to benefit our coastal heritage, the marine environment and local communities. Through the 30 projects, the Seascapes scheme will improve access to beaches, explore the shipwrecks and habitats beneath the waves, improve biological recording through citizen science, construct a coastal conservation centre, tackle marine litter and create opportunities for local people and visitors to enjoy being on and in the sea.

Dorset AONB  2019

Lead officer – Tom Munro, Dorset AONB Manager

Main theme is coastal management and realignment – a proposed managed realignment project at Arne Moors and ‘accidental’ realignment elsewhere.

Coastal Pioneers Webinar – 2019

The webinar aims to outline the ambition of Defra’s Marine Pioneer and report what has been achieved so far in the two pilot areas. It is hoped that the pilots may provide a basis for work in other coastal protected areas.

Presenters will be:
Dr Aisling Lannin – Marine Pioneer Programme Lead, Business Development and Transformation
Marine Management Organisation
Chrissie Ingle – Marine Pioneer Coordinator, North Devon
Pete Cosgrove  Suffolk – Suffolk Pioneer Project Manager
The Marine Pioneer is one of 4 pioneers that is being used to test innovative ideas and new approaches (including natural capital) for the management of the environment.

Listen to the Webinar here

Webinar on Heritage Coasts, February 2017
Prompted by the interest in Heritage Coasts from members at the meeting in January 2016, this webinar aimed to explore the potential for making more of the Heritage Coast definition, including the possibility of defining new Heritage Coasts.

Note of the Webinar

Presentation from John Butterfield, Natural England


Meeting of the Coastal and Marine Working Group,  2016
Attended by members from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the agenda included a review of the seascapes manifesto, marine planning and Heritage Coasts among other items The following documents are available:

Report of Coastal and Marine Working Group meeting, January 2016

Information on Seascape Character Assessment in Wales

Presentation on Heritage Coasts

Presentation from the Marine Management Organisation

A webinar on UK marine protected areas was held in June 2015.
Previous meetings took place in Birmingham in November 2012 as part of a wider management planning review workshop organised together with the National Association for AONBs and in June 2012 in Bristol, where the agenda included current experiences in the field of marine planning and the impact of offshore wind farms, seascape character assessment and other issues linking land and sea in the UK and Ireland. A report is available on request.