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An overview of The Wash and North Norfolk Marine Partnership


The Wash and North Norfolk coast is a special place, with many unique marine species and habitats. To safeguard these, a Marine Protected Area (MPA) network was created, comprising three Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and one Special Area of Conservation (SAC):

Gibraltar Point SPA

North Norfolk Coast SPA

The Wash SPA

The Wash & North Norfolk Coast SAC

These sites connect the British Southern North Sea to a European network of protected sites called Natura 2000, with the aim being to ensure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats.



There are legal duties on Relevant Authorities to ensure that human activities do not adversely impact The Wash and North Norfolk Marine Protected Area network; the SPAs and SAC were designated under the European Union (EU) Birds Directive (1979, 2009) and EU Habitats Directive (1992), respectively, and these were transposed into UK law through The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010, 2017). Therefore, despite leaving the European Union on 31st January 2020, these legal duties remain unchanged.

A birds eye view of Frampton marsh on The Wash, Lincolnshire. Image credit, Tormod Amundsen


Protecting nature and culture

The Wash and North Norfolk Marine Partnership (WNNMP) represents 21 Relevant Authorities and is the organisation that manages the delivery of statutory duties to The Wash and North Norfolk Marine Protected Area network. Notably, an essential working principle for effective management is that nature conservation occurs in parallel with human activities, to ensure that maritime livelihoods and the regions rich cultural heritage are sustained as part of the marine environment. Therefore, WNNMP works in close collaboration with regulators, local communities, sea-users, businesses and conservation groups (to learn more, visit Partnerships).

A birds eye view of Brancaster, North Norfolk. Image credit, Mike Page

Learn more about our work


Local communities and management groups working together to protect marine heritage More


Four Marine Protected Areas conserve a stunning diversity of wildlife and habitats More


A rich and historic cultural heritage that is intimately connected to the marine environment More

If you have any questions please get in touch.

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