List of YWT Nature Reserves (A-Z)


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Save Our Ocean Giants

Save Our Ocean Giants is the Wildlife Trusts' latest campaignWhite beaked dolphins in the North Seas - Credit - Martin Kitching

The whales, dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks that live around our coast are some of the UK’s most spectacular - and at risk - wildlife. But currently there is just a single protected area for our ocean giants in English and Welsh seas. It’s time to change this.

You can find 29 different species of whale, dolphin and porpoise off the UK's shore as well as the second largest shark in the world – the basking shark

Save Our Ocean Giants is a new report that identifies 17 important ‘megafauna hotspots’ around our shores for the first time and highlights the need to protect them.

The Wildlife Trusts want to see these newly identified hotspots (special areas on which whales, dolphins and basking sharks most depend) protected by law. This would secure the missing link in marine protection for English and Welsh waters.

You can help by signing our e-petition. Your support helps to strengthen our campaign - next year we'll take your signatures to Government to call for action for our ocean giants. Thanks for your support!

The UK Government is working towards achieving an ‘ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas’, however, there’s a glaring omission in this process: the absence of protection for the nutrient-rich and highly productive places on which marine megafauna most depend.

Where are these ‘megafauna hotspots'?

The areas marked on this map are the megafauna hotspots that The Wildlife Trusts would like to see protected. Some of these places already have designations – whether as Marine Conservation Zones, Special Areas of Conservation and more – but unfortunately whales, dolphins and basking sharks are not listed as ‘features’ to be protected within them.

This is why we are calling for either new conservation areas, or for these species to be recognised and protected within existing designated areas.

For a more detailed map, please see the full technical report Megafauna hotspots: the missing link in our network of Marine Protected Areas which is available to download below.

You can see the areas we are proposing and find out more about each of them in our summary report Save our Ocean Giants - the protected areas we need for dolphins, whales and basking sharks, available to download below.

Want to do even more to help restore our over-exploited seas?

If the answer is yes (or even maybe!) then please become a Friend of Marine Conservation Zones. Your name will be put with thousands of others to show how much support there is for a network of 'marine nature reserves' around our coastline, and from time to time we will email you to ask you to send a letter to your MP.


FilenameFile size
Save our Ocean giants report.pdf405.37 KB
Megafauna hotspots full technical report.pdf3.14 MB