Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Natural England (NE) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) have produced advice documents providing an overview of the ecological sensitivities to marine aggregate extraction within Welsh and English inshore and offshore waters. These documents contain detail on the pressures and environmental impacts associated with aggregate dredging, including the habitats, species and marine protected areas most sensitive to these impacts. The aim of these documents is to help inform prospective lease applicants in the siting of potential marine aggregate extraction activities as part of The Crown Estate’s 2021/22 aggregates licensing round. These documents were produced for The Crown Estate. The advice provided is not exhaustive and does not replace the need for a detailed assessment of individual projects. It is therefore non-binding and provided without prejudice to any further advice given or decisions made by NRW, NE and the JNCC. It is recommended that operators engage with the relevant statutory nature conservation body as early as possible when planning marine aggregate extraction to avoid significant environmental and consenting risks.
Key sensitivities of habitats and MPAs in English waters
Sensitivity of Marine Ecology to Aggregate Extraction in Wales