Note: see menu bar on the right for many technical, scientific and other articles by BORG: these are our reasoned responses to various challenges to boating interests. They are also summarised in the page Technical Summaries, link in top menu, above.
Seahorses and tidal flows around Poole: see Latest News
BORG Response to 2nd Tranche MCZ Consultation: see Latest News
Studland and Solent sites held back from 2nd Tranche MCZ Consultation: see Latest News
Seahorse numbers – the truth: see Latest News
Aerial images show steady eelgrass bed growth 1985 – 2011: see Latest News
MAIA Report Errors Acknowledged : see Latest News
MCZ Designations Nov. 2013 : see Latest News
The Great Seahorse Deception: see Latest News
For an overview, see our MCZ’s Quick Guide
Welcome to our web site. The mission of the Boat Owners Response Group (BORG) is to promote the historic Rights of Navigation that have been a cornerstone of the UK’s identity as a seafaring nation, and in particular to promote these rights in the face of current initiatives, including the establishment of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ’s), which might limit navigational use, including passage and anchoring rights.
BORG is a community organization, not funded or promoted by any special interests or companies. We all pay our own way. We came into being following serious discussions of upcoming regulations that were discussed on boating and yachting on-line forums. We are aware that our concerns are shared in many respects by official boating organisations, such as the RYA, as well as local organisations like the Studland Bay Preservation Association. It is our aim to add our voice to the chorus of concern of boat owners and those who navigate our marine waters for recreation and leisure.
You will find on this site sections which spell out the possible threats to navigation, which explain why sheltered anchorages matter, which report the current position of the MCZ programmes, and what BORG is and has been doing about it all. There is an evidence section which shines a searching spotlight on the scientific issues which conservationists bring forward to support their claims, which is supported by a page on aerial images of the seabed at Studland Bay. A summary of BORG’s position which was sent to stakeholders in the Studland Bay MCZ process may be found at the Position Summary page. The issue of just how sensitive the seahorses might be to minor damage to the eelgrass beds is explored in Seahorse Q&A’s and in Seahorses Like Moorings.
Over-zealous conservationists have been trying to pin blame on to recreational boating for other ways of harming the planet. Boats, referred to as “large moving objects”, have been blamed for scaring birds: this nonsense is dealt with in an article listed in the side bar, and also linked here. Boats have been blamed for spreading invasive marine species around: we point out that tidal flows are probably much more effective at this than boats, in another article listed in the side bar, and linked here.
An important report from 2012 is the detailed and thorough Seastar Survey report, which reports that over the study period of two years, there is no consistent evidence of boat anchoring impacting the seagrass habitat at Studland Bay. Fuller information about that and other more recent developments, including Natural England and JNCC’s “Formal Advice to Government” on the proposed MCZ’s, plus our response, is given in the Latest News section.
We also have quite a lively discussion involving these issues taking place on the Yachting & Boating World web forum. You can access this “sticky” thread within YM’s Scuttlebutt area by clicking
And while you are there, please feel free to browse the entire ybw site – it has a wealth of information about sailing, motorboating, living aboard, and other issues to the seafaring community!
The Boat Owners Response Group Cruise Directors, a.k.a. “YBW Scuttlebut username”,
Jon “oldharry” Reed
Stephen “galadriel” Price
Steve “Searush” Kean
Mike “MarlynSpyke” Simons