SCA 15 – Bristol Channel – east

Summary description 

This area is located offshore south of Scarweather Sands, extending out into the middle of the Bristol Channel. It is medium depth sloping from 15m to 30m deep with a gravel and sandy gravel seafloor with high wave energy and strong currents.

Key characteristics

  • Open sea extending south of Scarweather Sands and West Nash towards the middle of the Bristol Channel with medium depth water between 15m and 30m deep with a seabed of gravel and sandy gravel.
  • Generally high wave energy and strong tidal currents move coarse sediments predominantly eastwards.
  • Forms part of the Bristol Channel seaway.
  • Wrecks include those involved in the limestone trade from Aberthaw, to the east.
  • Sea with simple, open characteristics at a vast scale dominated by swell, waves and winds with a sense of remoteness increasing to the south.
  • Contributes to open sea views from Porthcawl and Vale of Glamorgan Heritage Coast.
  • The key visible coastal features are Cefn Bryn to the north west, the South Wales coalfield plateau to the north, the Glamorgan Heritage Coast to the north east and Exmoor to the south.
  • Tranquillity will be reduced by commercial shipping.

Forces for change

These can be divided into:

  • Natural processes
  • Recreational pressure
  • Commercial and leisure fishing
  • Offshore energy or minerals
  • MOD use

Initial thoughts are:

Sediment transport by tidal currents in the Bristol Channel.

An offshore windfarm in the Bristol Channel Round 3 licensed area would change the feeling of remoteness and would affect and block views to Lundy.