In its most simple form, biodiversity is life on earth and refers to the variety of life forms including plants, animals and microorganisms, the genes that they contain and the ecosystems that they form.
As an island nation, the UK boasts around 7500 miles of coastline and a wealth of marine biodiversity ranging from basking sharks to colourful sponges and cold water corals. The UK’s marine biodiversity has received considerably less attention than its terrestrial counterpart, due in part to the vast area and the difficulties associated with adequately sampling its rich ecology.
- 13 May 2009: Draft guidance on SSSIs and National Nature Reserves (NNRs) in the subtidal area (Note 4) published.
- 13 May 2009: An Illustration of a network of marine protected areas under the Marine and Coastal Access Bill (PDF 1MB) published
Marine nature conservation sections:
- Understanding our marine biodiversity
Where you can find information on our habitats and species, including UKSeaMap - a set of broadscale seabed and water column feature maps.
- Protection of marine biodiversity
Where you will find information on what legislation is used to protect our marine habitats and species including information on the Review of Marine Nature Conservation and the designation of important sites in the UK (eg. SACs and MNRs).
- The Marine and Coastal Access Bill - what does it mean for nature conservation?
Where you can find details of the marine nature conservation proposals within the Marine and Coastal Access Bill, including Marine Conservation Zones.
Marine Biodiversity Team
Wildlife Habitats and Biodiversity
Zone 1/05, Temple Quay House
2, The Square, Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6EB
Page last modified: 05 November 2009