The Crown Estate, BMAPA release annual Area Involved report

The Crown Estate and The British Marine Aggregate Producers Association (BMAPA) have published their 24th annual Area Involved report, detailing changes in the area of seabed licensed and dredged for marine aggregates during 2021.

Key information from the report includes:

  • A total of 21 million tonnes of sand and gravel were dredged under Crown Estate licence in England and Wales during 2021 (compared to 18 million tonnes in 2020);
  • The total area of seabed licensed in 2021 was 1,068km2 (1,055km2 in 2020);
  • Dredging took place within 106 km2(10 per cent of the licensed area) compared with 101km2 (also 10 per cent) in 2020;
  • The area of seabed dredged for more than 1 hour 15 minutes per year (high intensity – red on charts) was 6km2 (5km2 in 2020);
  • 90 per cent of dredging activity carried out under Crown Estate licence took place from an area of 43km2 (42 km2 in 2020).

Nick Everington, Marine Minerals Portfolio Manager for The Crown Estate, said: “As manager of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we work in partnership with industry; to help support the sustainable use of sand and gravel resources.”

“The annual ‘Area Involved’ report is an integral part of this, providing insight and data to improve our understanding and management of the marine environment over the long term. Our 24th annual report reflects the ongoing commitment from both The Crown Estate and industry to this important initiative.”

Marine aggregates constitute a crucial component in the supply of building materials to support the development of the UK’s built environment. They currently supply around 25% of the sand and gravel used across England and Wales.

In London, they meet around 50% of primary aggregate demand. They are also critical in developing climate change resilience for our coastal communities.