29th July 2021

Saving Studland's seagrass and seahorses

boatfolk and The Seahorse Trust

Studland Bay is a popular destination for boaters, however the dropping of anchors has damaging consequences for both the seabed and the creatures which call it their home. That's why we've joined forces with the Charity The Seahorse Trust to install ten eco-moorings at the site. 

About Studland Bay

Studland Bay became a designated Marine Conservation Zone in 2018 due to Studland's rare seagrass meadows. Seagrass can store up to twice as much carbon per hectare as terrestrial forests, supporting the reduction of climate change. In addition to this Studland's seagrass meadows are an  internationally important breeding ground for the protected Spiny Seahorse, one of Britain’s native seahorse species. The Spiny Seahorse was protected in 2008 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act following campaigning by the Seahorse Trust. 

Neil Garrick-Maidment, Founder and Executive Director of The Seahorse Trust said: “I am delighted to be working with boatfolk to develop a practical solution, which allows boaters to continue enjoying this remarkable site, in a way which also enables the conservation of rare seagrass meadows and crucial seahorse breeding grounds.”

About the Eco-moorings

The benefits of eco-moorings are well-documented. The moorings involve a helical screw anchow being driven into the seabed with an elastic rode attached, connecting the anchor system with the mooring buoy. The elastic rode stretches at higher tides and contracts at lower tides, avoiding the scouring of the seabed. The moorings also provide a hassle-free option for boaters, with no need to drop their own anchors which often drag before taking hold requiring them to be cleaned. 

Neil Garrick-Maidment of The Seahorse Trust and Michael Prideaux, Managing Director here at boatfolk commented: “The Seahorse Trust and boatfolk are united in a clear belief that eco-moorings are the way forward for Studland, allowing boaters to continue enjoying the site while seagrass and seahorses thrive alongside. A test of the helical screw has been conducted on site and shown to work. We are thrilled to announce that the MMO has approved our proposal, which we believe provides a practical and collaborative roadmap to finally giving Studland Bay the effective protection it deserves.”

Behind the scenes installation footage

Want to support the installation of even more eco-moorings?

Click here to donate to the cause and help protect even more seagrass and seahorses! 

A part of Coastline Deadline

This scheme forms part of our wider sustainability strategy, Coastline Deadline, a new platform designed to back projects which have a real, positive and measurable impact on the coastline. As part of this we work together with partners, such as The Seahorse Trust, with a shared passion for the environment and a desire to work alongisde the boating community for a positive solution that everyone can get behind. By making changes now we want to ensure that the coastline and oceans remain a place that can be enjoyed for generations to come.

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