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    Surveys undertaken in Lough Foyle (Aug 2009), Carlingford Lough (Aug-Sep 2012), Strangford Lough (Aug-Sep 2012) and Dundrum Bay (Jul 2012). These surveys are done primarily as part of a rolling 6 year programme for the EU Water Framework Directive. These polygons were mapped and merged to collate inter-tidal seagrass surveys originally assessed as part of the Water Framework Directives suite of Biological Quality Element tools. The data collected can also be used to inform the habitat map as it corresponds to the Eunis code 'A2.611-Mainland Atlantic Zostera noltii or Zostera angustifolia meadows'. Surveys undertaken by Quercus at Queen's University, Belfast on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland (DOE). Subsequently translated into EUNIS habitat classification scheme.

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    In order to help inform site condition monitoring, Seastar Survey Ltd. were contracted by Natural England to undertake a drop-down video (DDV) survey of the Lune Deep reefs feature with the aim of defining the distribution and extent of any subtidal boulder and/or bedrock reef communities and establishing a baseline for the site against which future condition of these reef sub-features can be assessed. The survey plan was designed to assess the extent and distribution of reef features using a high definition Freshwater Lens Camera System (FLCS). Camera stations were selected using existing acoustic data supplied to Seastar Survey by Natural England. Thirty-nine transects were successfully surveyed.

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    Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (CMACS) Ltd were contracted by Natural England to carry out feature condition monitoring on intertidal features within the Solent Maritime Special Area of Conservation (SAC) which encompassed Chichester Harbour, Langstone Harbour, Southampton Water, West Solent and the northern coast of the Isle of Wight. Surveys were based around transects with a 400m wide corridor (i.e. 200m either side of the transect) and with locations for target notes placed at 50m intervals within the survey corridor. Surveys were carried out on foot where the intertidal area was small and/or firm underfoot and from a hovercraft where soft sediments were present. Target notes and photographs of visible flora and fauna were supplemented with 0.01m2 core samples consisting of five faunal replicates and a further one for particle size analysis (PSA), as well as 1m2 quadrats dug out to 20cm to aid biotope classification. Samples were sieved at 0.5mm and all invertebrates enumerated and biomass estimated by wet weight by species. Chichester Harbour was characterised by mud habitats in the upper reaches with sand shores to the south of Thorney Island and near to the harbour mouth. Algal mats were recorded in the upper reaches of the harbour, notably Bosham Channel, where seagrass was also present but extensive beds were only discovered recorded from the southwestern corner of the harbour. Fauna in the muddy areas was dominated by oligochaetes and cirratulid polychaetes especially Tubificoides benedii and Tharyx killariensis as well as the small gastropod Hydrobia ulvae. In sandy areas, the fauna was characterised by the lugworm Arenicola marina, the orbiniid polychaete Scoloplos armiger and tanaid crustaceans. Langstone Harbour was also characterised by mud habitats almost throughout the entire area but with some areas of coarse mixed sediment on the upper shore which supported a wide variety of macroalgae but which also showed signs of bait digging. Algal mats were much more prevalent in Langstone Harbour than in Chichester Harbour but seagrass was also much more extensive. The fauna of the samples from Langstone Harbour was very similar to that of Chichester Harbour with a numerical dominance of cirratulids, oligochaetes and Hydrobia ulvae. In Southampton Water, there was a greater mix of habitats from tide-swept coarse sediment to fine silt and clay. The tide-swept gravels and pebble at the mouth of the Hamble Estuary supported a diverse assemblage of macroalgae and epifauna which included ascidians, barnacles, bivalves and sponges. Within the Hamble Estuary itself, there were very soft fine sediments which supported cockles but there were also thick algal mats which supported large numbers of Hydrobia ulvae but caused anoxia at the mud surface. Soft, fine sediments were also encountered on the western side of Southampton Water from Calshot to Hythe with a fauna dominated by Tharyx killariensis but with large numbers of cockles and Hydrobia ulvae near Calshot itself. On the seaward side of Calshot, to western side of the Beaulieu Estuary, there were coarse mixed sediments which supported ephemeral algae, small actiniarians, and a rich fauna of polychaetes, amphipods and molluscs. There was also a large seagrass bed on the lower shore at Calshot and evidence of bait digging in these areas, particularly at Lepe Beach. Within the Beaulieu and Lymington Estuaries the habitats were fine, soft sediments with a similar fauna to the mud areas of Chichester and Langstone Harbours but with a greater prevalence of ragworm and tellins. The north coast of the Isle of Wight was characterised by protrusions of clay and outcrops of bedrock which supported piddocks and a rich crustacean fauna as well as a variety of macroalgae predominantly fucoids. In addition, the habitats of Thorness Bay included mixed coarse sediment supporting barnacles and littorinids and sand supporting sand mason worms and small patches of seagrass beds. The very sheltered areas of Newtown Harbour and the Medina Estuary where typically mud habitats with cockles and thick algal mat but also with some mixed sediments mid estuary which supported cockle, sponges and littorinids.

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    The result of a multidisciplinary field survey of the Haig Fras SAC which was initiated in January and completed during March/April 2011. The current study was initiated to investigate the extent of Annex I reef habitat at Haig Fras. Cefas and JNCC collected full-coverage multibeam bathymetric and backscatter data and associated ground-truthing data. This data has been analysed to update the extent of the Annex I reef and produce a broadscale habitat map. Seven biotopes were identified from drop camera transects with the predominant biotope characterised by Devonshire cup corals, sponges and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock. The broadscale habitat map indicates the presence of four main biotopes; high energy circalittoral rock, moderate energy circalittoral rock, deep circalittoral coarse sediment and deep circalittoral sand.

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    This report describes the results from an interdisciplinary field survey aimed at identifying the location, extent and condition of Annex I habitat features in the Large Shallow Inlet and Bay of The Wash and North Norfolk Coast SAC. The habitat features of interest are (i) subtidal boulder and cobble communities, and (ii) Sabellaria spinulosa reefs. Information presented is intended to serve as a baseline for future monitoring of the identified features. Acoustic sidescan data were acquired from selected areas within the broader SAC area, together with grountruthing samples representative of distinct acoustic signatures. Groundtruthing techniques included the acquisition of video and still images of the seabed and of sediment and faunal sample. Of particular interest was an area to the north of the eastern Well survey area between 10 and 47 m deep which exhibited a high density of hard and rugged features, confirmed as boulder and cobble reef on chalk bedrock by the photographic record. This area also harboured a high number of epifaunal taxa not observed in the surrounding sediments. The area has been delimited and covers approximately 470 ha. The acoustic record did not reveal the occurrence of areas of Sabellaria spinulosa reef. Infaunal samples did collect representatives of this species but in densities too small to be considered as reef. At most sites where S. spinulosa was observed, the abundance and diversity of the whole infaunal assemblage was higher than in areas where S. spinulosa was absent. Analysis of both infaunal and epifaunal assemblages revealed several distinct communities throughout the survey area.

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    A map of EUNIS habitats derived from seabed substrate map and EUSeaMap modelled data including wave base and kinetic energy (wave and current) at the seabed.

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    A map of EUNIS habitats derived from seabed substrate map and modelled data including EUSeaMap wave base and kinetic energy (wave and current) at the seabed.

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    The purpose of this study was to re-survey six locations on the rocky shore within the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast European Marine Site which had originally been surveyed in November 2003 in order to make an assessment of these habitats as a food resource for shorebirds. The original survey also provided data on the biotope composition and biodiversity of the site in order to inform Natural England on the status of the large shallow inlets and bays feature of the site.

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    A map demonstrating the habitat type and geology of the area including the areas of protection and conservation. These interpreted maps of biotopes and substrates in Lyme Bay are based on UKHO sidescan seabed texture data and benthic species survey data (including Seasearch and other dive data, grab sampling and drop video data) gathered for Devon Wildlife Trust's Lyme Bay Marine Spatial Mapping project. Available from DBRC website and electronic data

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    The purpose of the current study was to initiate site condition monitoring of the reefs of Loch Creran. This was done to establish a baseline biological data set that would facilitate the assessment of the condition of the reef habitats in the future and to allow a judgement to be formed on the current condition of these habitats. The approach taken to achieve these objectives was to assess the extent and distribution of serpulid reefs from observations by diver along 110 transects around the loch. Detailed studies were also performed at four of the major serpulid reef sites in the loch. Here, distribution was examined with sidescan sonar, reef density by video and the community of organisms associated with the habitat by diver survey of the reefs themselves and of the surrounding sediment. The distribution and abundance of Modiolus was examined along seven relocatable transects and, at one of the major mussel beds, the size structure of the population and associated community surveyed. Subtidal rocky reefs were surveyed by diver along relocatable transects at three sites.