SCA 20 – Bristol Channel – south west offshore
The area is located south of the Gower stretching towards the middle of the Bristol Channel with medium depth water and a gently sloping sandy seafloor with channels and ridges which are dredged. The area is a highly exposed marine environment with distant views to land. It links into SCA43 in the Pembrokeshire Coast assessment.
- Open sea in the middle of the Bristol Channel with medium depth water between 30m and 50m deep seabed of ridges and channels perpendicular to the east – west tidal currents.
- Generally low wind stress and moderate tide speed.
- Wrecks from foundering and World War II attacks.
- Used for dredging with leisure sailing by larger boats and commercial craft.
- Sea with simple, open characteristics at a vast scale dominated by swell, waves and winds with a sense of remoteness.
- Contributes to open sea views from south western Gower.
- The key visible coastal features are Rhossili Down and Cefn Bryn to the north and Lundy and the North Devon coast to the south.
- Tranquillity will be reduced by dredging activity.
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:
Longshore sediment drift and deposition in Bristol Channel.
Dredging modifying and disturbing seabed.
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 and the North Devon coast.
Boundaries of the area
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or link to high resolution image.
Quick links to other area pages:
SCA 1 – Three Rivers
SCA 2 – Carmarthen Bay E
SCA 3 – Loughor Estuary
SCA 4 – Rhossili Bay
SCA 5 – Worms Head to Port Eynon
SCA 6 – Oxwich & Port Eynon
SCA 7 – Pwlldu Head to Mumbles Head
SCA 8 – Swansea Bay W
SCA 9 – Swansea Bay E
SCA 10 – Neath estuary
SCA 11 – Margam to Porthcawl
SCA 12 – Porthcawl
SCA 13 – Nash Sands
SCA 14 – Bristol Channel SE
SCA 15 – Bristol Channel E
SCA 16 – Mid Swansea Bay
SCA 17 – Outer Swansea Bay
SCA 18 – Offshore Oxwich Point to Mumbles Head
SCA 19 – Bristol Channel offshore
SCA 20 – Bristol Channel SW offshore