Nature designations

The NEKMPA (Thanet Coast) consists of many nature conservation designations:


  • Two Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

  • A Special Protection Area (SPA)

  • A Wetland of International importance under the Ramsar convention (Ramsar Site) and

  • All covered as 'Sites of Special Scientific Interest' (SSSI) above Mean Low Water

  • Kent's largest National Nature Reserve - the 'Sandwich and Pegwell Bay NNR'

  •  A Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) * 


Collectively, they are known as the North East Kent European marine sites.

*In 2013, a national designation - Thanet Coast MCZ (Marine Conservation Zone) - was added, as part of progress towards a network of marine protected areas (Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009) and the designations are now collectively known as the North East Kent Marine Protected Area (NEKMPA) rather than just 'NE Kent European marine site'.

These sites are legally protected and the shore and sea has a management scheme which ensures that they are managed in a way that conserves their importance for wildlife. The citations for these designations (SAC; SPA and SSSIs) can be found in the Appendices of the Management Scheme 2001-6

In addition to the Management Scheme, the landowner of the foreshore above mean low water has an agreement with Natural England on the management of the coastline for wildlife and habitats the coast is covered by the SSSI designation.  For Thanet Council the Thanet Coast SSSI Site Management Statement was last reviewed in May 2010.  


Some key points


NEKEMS Map 1108 

2015 NEKMPA map (PDF, 501kb)

Thanet Coast (NEKMPA)

c/o Thanet District Council,

PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent CT9 1XZ
United Kingdom



Tony Child

Thanet Coast (NE Kent Marine Protected Area) Officer

Telephone: +44 (0) 1843 577672

(based in Manston Road Depot)