Hi all I've pursued the MCZ issue some more since I got back. In answer to my further questioning of my contact at the Wildlife Trusts I received the following answer to my question "what is the decision-making process for the MCZ's and the timescales involved?" It is quite long and detailed reply, and makes me want to bite my own feet off. "Dear.... No problems at all with the questions- it is a complex process but I will do my best to answer your questions- do let me know if you have more though or if something is not clear. At the moment, the following is how we understand the development of management plans for the sites: Defra are the policy maker when it comes to Marine Conservation Zones, so they will decide on and designate Marine Conservation Zones and will set the conservation objectives for the features found within the site. Conservation Objectives are the statement of action need to achieve the required ecological state of a feature. If the feature is deemed to be in good ecological status, then a conservation objective of maintain is set. If it is at a low ecological status, a conservation objective of recover is set. In this consultation, Defra have outlined the conservation objectives proposed for each feature within each site recommended for designation this year. The final conservation objectives will then be published for the sites proposed for designation this year, as part of the Defra published response to the consultation. They are looking at designating the sites by the end of the year and setting management plans after this point. So basically, by the end of the year, Defra will have designated up to 31 new Marine Conservation Zones and set associated Conservation Objectives for the features found within each site that the MCZ has been designated for. It is then the duty of the relevant public authority to determine the management measures needed to protect these features. These public authorities are primarily the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCA) for inshore waters (and the Environment Agency for estuarine) and the Marine Management Organisation for offshore waters. They will set management plans, likely through a mixture of bylaws, licensing activity and voluntary measures and will set them after advice from the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies, taking into account the sensitivity of the features within the site and the Conservation Objectives for the feature. The final decision on designation of the sites lies with the Secretary of State (so Richard Benyon and ultimately Owen Paterson) but this decision will come from a recommendation made by the marine team in Defra, following advice from the SNCBs (NE and JNCC) and taking into account the responses to the consultation. It is then up to individual IFCAs, the EA and the MMO enforcement team to set management plans. So a wide range of people are involved in the decision making and implementation process. I hope this makes sense- I’m not sure I have explained it that well so please do come back to me if not. Thanks and Best wishes" So that's made things nice and clear then. I guess it's what Glenn's said along, we need to get involved in the consultation (end of March deadline) and lobby NEIFCA. I don't suppose anyone knows anyone who is mates with Richard Benyon? Does he even have any mates?