Highly Protected Marine Areas Report Published

In June 2019, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced a review to examine whether and how the strongest protections for areas of sea, known as Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs), could be introduced.

The review was led by former Environment and Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon, and it ran from June 2019 to June 2020. The terms of reference for the review can be found at:


The review has now published its report, which concludes that HPMAs are an essential component of the Marine Protected Areas network, and that government should introduce them into English inshore and offshore waters and into Northern Ireland offshore zones.

The report provides 25 recommendations covering what HPMAs are and how they should be identified and managed.

An Executive Summary of the report can be found at:


The full Report can be found at:


During the consultation for the review, some that responded suggested that the ‘Wash and North Norfolk Coast’ and ‘Cromer’ should be considered as HPMA sites by the review. It is important to note that that no decisions have been taken on site selection and that any such selection will take account of the draft criteria set out in Appendix 4 of the report.

We would anticipate being fully engaged if and when any consideration of site selection in our District takes place and we will, of course, keep stakeholders updated.

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