The diagram below is a summary of the key
milestones involved in the selection and designation of
Haisborough, Hammond and Winterton cSAC/SCI. More detail can
be found within the relevant documentation listed below.
The documents referred to below and any other historical
documents relating to Haisborough, Hammond and Winterton cSAC/SCI
were produced during the selection and designation process and
therefore may be out of date. This Site Information Centre is
the most up to date source of information for this MPA, and will
reflect any additional information gathered since these documents
The Haisborough, Hammond and Winterton cSAC/SCI lies off the
north east coast of Norfolk, and contains a series of sandbanks
which meet the Annex I habitat description for “Sandbanks slightly
covered by sea water all the time". The central sandbank ridge in
the site is composed of alternating ridge headland associated
sandbanks. This ridge consists of the sinusoidal banks which have
evolved over the last 5,000 years, originally associated with the
coastal alignment at the time that the Holocene marine
transgression occurred). The bank system consists of: Haisborough
Sand, Haisborough Tail, Hammond Knoll, Winterton Ridge and Hearty
Knoll. Hewett Ridge and Smiths Knoll form an older (~7,000BP)
sequence of sandbank ridges located along the outer site boundary.
In territorial waters are the Newarp Banks and North and Middle
Cross Sands which lie on the south west corner of the site. These
banks are believed to be geologically recent, their genesis dating
to around the 5th Century AD.
The sandy sediments within the site are very mobile in the
strong tidal currents which characterise the area. Large-scale bank
migration or movement appears to be slow, but within the sandbank
system there is a level of sediment movement around, and also
across, the banks. This is evidenced by megaripple and sandwave
formations on the banks. Infaunal communities of the sandy bank
tops are consequently of low biodiversity, characterised by mobile
polychaetes (cat worms) and amphipods (shrimp-like crustaceans)
which are able to rapidly re-bury themselves into the dynamic
sediment environments. Along the flanks of the banks, and towards
the troughs between the banks the sediments tend to be slightly
more stable with gravels exposed in areas. In these regions of the
site, infaunal and epifaunal communities are much more diverse.
There are a number of areas where sediment movements are reduced
and these areas support an abundance of attached bryozoans,
hydroids and sea anemones. Other tube-building worms such as keel
worms Pomatoceros sp. and sand mason worms Lanice
conchilega are also found in these areas, along with
bivalves and crustaceans.
spinulosa reefs are also a protected feature of the site
and are located at Haisborough Tail, Haisborough Gat and between
Winterton Ridge and Hewett Ridge. They arise from the surrounding
coarse sandy seabed to heights of between 5cm to 10cm. The reefs
are consolidated structures of sand tubes showing seafloor coverage
of between 30 to 100 per cent of the sediment.
Further detail on the evidence for this cSAC/SCI can be found on
the Evidence tab.
Site location: Coordinates for this
cSAC/SCI can be found in the Natura 2000 Standard Data Form listed
in the Relevant Documentation.
Site area: 1,467.59 km²
Site depth range: Depth at the site
ranges from the top of the bank features that almost breach the sea
surface down to 52m below sea level in the sandbank troughs.
Charting Progress 2 Biogeographic Region:
Southern North Sea
Site boundary description
boundary is a simple polygon enclosing the minimum area necessary
to ensure protection of the Annex I habitat. Coordinate points have
been positioned as close to the edge of the interest feature as
possible, rather than being located at the nearest whole degree or
minute point. Where it is justified to protect the features of the
site from the effects of mobile gear on the seabed at some distance
from a vessel on the surface, a margin in proportion to the water
depth may be added to the extent of the feature when defining the
site boundary. The SAC contains Annex I sandbanks at depths of
predominantly <25m BCD. Therefore, a margin of 100m was used
around each sandbank feature except where a straight line between
two points was the more sensible option to avoid an overcomplicated
boundary following the UK guidance on defining boundaries for
marine SACs for Annex I habitat sites fully detached from the
The information for this site summary was adapted from documents
listed in the relevant documentation section and
incorporates any further information gathered since these documents
Site specific data
There is a range of
data that underpin this cSAC/SCI. The full overview of the data
used to support site identification, along with information on
confidence in feature presence and extent is available in the
Haisborough, Hammond and Winterton cSAC/SCI Selection Assessment
JNCC will be adding relevant survey data for this MPA to our MPA
interactive map in due course.
Data for this cSAC/SCI has been collected through a JNCC
collaborative survey which provides direct evidence confirming the
presence of the protected features within the site.
Survey and data gathering
- JNCC, Natural England and Cefas Joint Wash Survey to
Inner Dowsing, Race Bank and North Ridge cSAC/SCI and of the
Haisborough, Hammond and Winterton cSAC/SCI - 2011.
The purpose of the survey was to identify the location, extent and
condition of Annex I habitat features at these two sites. Acoustic,
video and stills, sediment and faunal samples were collected and
the habitats mapped.
Data analysis reports
Analysis of data gathered as part of the survey listed above, as
well as other relevant data analysis products, are available via
the following reports:
- Analysis of the 2011 survey data for Inner Dowsing,
Race Bank and North Ridge cSAC/SCI, and of the Haisborough, Hammond
and Winterton cSAC/SCI - 2011
Analysis of the
JNCC-NE-Cefas collaborative survey undertaken in 2011 was
undertaken by Cefas. Reporting is underway and will be made
available in due course.
- Survey data to set an
environmental characterisation of the seafloor at a large regional
scale - 2010
Surveys commissioned by the
Marine Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund have produced survey data
on a large regional scale. In total 31,560km² of the seabed has
been surveyed and mapped, including an area within the Haisborough,
Hammond and Winterton cSAC/SCI. Surveys have collected bathymetric
and faunal data.
- Appraisal of the occurrence of Annex I sandbank habitat
An initial appraisal of the occurrence of
Annex I sandbank habitat was completed on Natural England’s behalf
by Entec UK Ltd. in 2008. This work examined data from a variety of
sources including windfarm and aggregate surveys, dedicated survey
- Survey to investigate potential cumulative impacts of
aggregate dredging on faunal communities and sediment composition -
Benthic grab samples were collected and analysed
by Cooper et al. (2007) for faunal and sediment
composition to determine the cumulative impacts of aggregate
dredging at multiple sites off the coast of Great Yarmouth,
including locations within this cSAC/SCI.
- Survey to examine impacts of dredging 5 years
post-dredging activity (Hanson Aggregates Marine Limited) –
A survey was conducted to produce an
Environmental Statement for an aggregates dredging project within
the cSAC/SCI. The survey provides sediment particle size and faunal
data for a localised area within the cSAC/SCI.
References for further supporting scientific literature
consulted during the identification of this site can be found in
the Selection Assessment
If you are aware of any
additional information not referred to in any of the relevant
documentation listed on the main page, please contact JNCC.
MPA Conservation Advice
JNCC and Natural England have prepared joint draft conservation
advice for Haisborough, Hammond and Winterton cSAC/SCI. This draft
advice is accessible through Natural England’s Designated Sites
Haisborough Hammond and Winterton cSAC/SCI.
JNCC and Natural England are inviting feedback on this draft
conservation advice. Please email your comments to Natural England
at email@example.com by
the 22nd May 2017.
The formal statutory advice for this site is still available in
18 / Regulation 35(3) Conservation Objectives and Advice on
Operations document jointly prepared between JNCC and
Natural England. The formal advice must be taken into
consideration when undertaking an assessment of the effects which a
planned activity can have on the site’s integrity and when making
decisions regarding management and consenting of marine activities
in or near the site.
The draft advice reflects the most up-to-date evidence held by
both Natural England and JNCC. The draft conservation advice
jointly prepared between JNCC and Natural England should also be
taken into consideration in assessment of the effects which a
planned activity can have on the site’s integrity and when making
decisions regarding management and consenting of marine activities
in or near the site.
Following a period to comment the draft advice will be reviewed
and once signed off will become the formal conservation advice for
this site, replacing any previous formal statutory conservation
advice. For more information on JNCC’s approach to conservation
advice please see the offshore Conservation Advice webpages.
Information can also be found on
Natural England’s website.
Activities known to be currently occurring within this
(Activities information correct as of December
- Oil and gas – a considerable number of
oil and gas developments overlap within this MPA, including many
fields, pipelines, wells and associated infrastructure.
- Aggregate extraction – Commercial aggregate
extraction takes place along the site boundary. Whilst none of the
licence areas are co-incidental with designated features, three
licence areas and two application areas are located within the
southern part of the site.
Existing licensed activities that take place
within Haisborough, Hammond and Winterton cSAC/SCI will
continue to be managed in line with relevant legislation and
application processes by the competent authorities. For
further information on JNCC's role in the provision of advice for
licensed activities in the UK offshore area is available on the
offshore industries advice webpages.
- Demersal - The south eastern corner of the
site around Smiths Knoll is heavily fished by trawlers, probably
for sandeel and pink and brown shrimp. Some static gear is used
around Hammond Knoll and Hewett Ridges and some potting takes place
to the north and west of the site.
- Pelagic - To the north and west of the
site, the key fishing activities are less damaging, and include
gill netting and long lining.
This SAC crosses the 6-12nm limit and extends into the offshore
region; however, there are no historic rights of access for other
Member States in the 6-12nm area. The Marine Management
Organisation has created a
local byelaw to protect biogenic reef (Sabellaria
spinulosa) by prohibiting the use of bottom towed fishing gear
in specified areas of the site. Both defined areas fall within the
12nm limit. There is no site-specific fisheries management
currently in place to protect the designated features of this site
outside of 12nm.
Where they are required, Defra are aiming for fisheries
management measures for the Haisborough Hammond and Winterton SAC
to be in place by 2016. The portion of the site which
falls outside of 12nm is to be exclusively managed under the
EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
In accordance with Article 18 of the revised CFP, requests for
management will be developed jointly between the UK Government and
any Member States with a direct management interest in the area
affected. Once drafted, there is a requirement to consult the
relevant Advisory Council (North Sea AC) prior to submission of any
final recommendations to the European Commission. MMO will be
the lead authority regarding implementation and compliance of any
A workshop was convened to look at a suite of MPA sites in the
Southern North Sea, which was held in The Hague in August 2014 and
was attended by both Dutch and UK industry stakeholders,
environmental NGOs and the Dutch Ministry of Economic
Affairs. A second workshop took place in May 2015
attended by industry representatives from the UK, France and
Belgium; government representatives from the UK and France; and
environmental NGOs. A Fisheries Options Paper was prepared by
JNCC and Natural England and presented at these workshops; the
latest version is available to download.
The primary purpose of the workshops was to initiate the
development of a joint management request for Southern North Sea
- Cables - Telecommunications cables pass
through the site.
Cables are largely an unregulated activity
in offshore waters depending upon the type of cable being laid (or
maintained), where it is being laid between and whether the cable
is part of a larger development (which may be regulated). Any cable
not directly associated with an energy installation does not
require a marine licence beyond 12 nautical miles. JNCC encourages
early discussion from operators regarding any plans related to new
or existing cables, and encourages the undertaking of non-statutory
Environmental Impact Assessments for new or existing cable projects
to assess their effect on the protected features of the MPA.
- Shipping - A moderate level of commercial and
recreational shipping activity takes place within the cSAC/SCI,
which involves vessels transiting the site. Due to the location of
the cSAC/SCI, it is unlikely that vessels anchor within the
Under international law, ships have a right
of passage at sea including in areas designated as MPAs (unless
management specifies the restriction of ship transiting as outlined
through an International Maritime Organisation measure). The
pressures associated with shipping activity within Haisborough,
Hammond and Winterton cSAC/SCI are not considered likely to impact
the protected features of the site.
Management Plan: JNCC is undertaking a
review of management plan requirements for offshore MPAs. Further
detail will be provided at a later date.
The MMO have assessed all European Marine Sites within
their jurisdiction and created a
strategic management table which summarises the overall risk
facing this site and the management actions being taken
Natural England, who are jointly responsible for this site,
have produced a Site
Improvement Plan for the inshore aspect of this site. The plan
provides a high level overview of the issues (both current and
predicted) affecting the condition of the sites
protected features and outlines the priority measures
required to improve their condition.
Management Group: MPA Management
National Steering Group
Further information on activities and feature sensitivity to
these pressures can be found under the Conservation
JNCC is currently leading on the development of a strategy for
biodiversity monitoring across all UK waters, to include MPA
monitoring. For MPAs, data and evidence collected from monitoring
activities will aim to:
- Enable assessment of condition of the features within
- Enable assessment of the degree to which management measures
are effective in achieving the conservation objectives for the
- Support the identification of priorities for future protection
and/or management; and,
- Enable Government to fulfil its national and international
assessment and reporting commitments in relation to MPAs and help
identify where further action may be required.
Information on monitoring of this MPA will be provided when it
Assessments of the condition of designated features in offshore
MPAs are required to report against our legal obligations. Ideally
these assessments should be based on observed data, and then
measured against targets for predefined indicators. However, for
MPAs in offshore waters we do not always have the appropriate
information to be able to do so. This is particularly true for
seabed habitats, which are the main type of feature designated for
protection in offshore MPAs.
To address these challenges, JNCC has been an active partner in
the development of new approaches and tools for the assessment of
habitats and species for a variety of national and international
status reports. They include the second cycle of the Conservation Status Assessment reports under the
EU Habitats Directive, Charting Progress 2
(CP2) and the OSPAR Quality Status
Report (QSR). JNCC continues to develop and pilot tools for the
assessment of marine habitats and species in offshore waters to
improve the quality and transparency of our offshore MPA
assessments, and contribute to the monitoring of marine
biodiversity in UK waters. These tools cover methods for producing
interim assessments of site features and their responses to
pressures, as well as developing more robust indicators for
determining condition of the features.
Every six years, Member States are required under Article 17
of the EU Habitats Directive to report on the Conservation
Status of Annex I habitats and Annex II species on the Habitats
Directive. The assessments should consider the habitat or
species both within the Natura 2000 network and in the wider
sea. The latest report was submitted by the UK in 2013
and provided a second assessment of the conservation status of
relevant habitats and species within UK marine waters during
2007-2012. The next report is for the period 2013-2018 and is due
in 2019; information on the condition of features within SACs will
make a contribution to this report.
The assessments of features within MPAs will also feed into six
yearly reports on the state of the marine environment under the
Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD),
which aims to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) by