Maldon's MP has given his support to a petition calling for the protection of the county’s coastline.

John Whittingdale, along with MPs for Colchester, Witham and Harwich, joined members of the Essex Wildlife Trust at the launch event in Westminster last week.

A quarter of a million signatures were presented to the government in support of Marine Conservation Zones overall with 14,000 signatures collected from Essex.

One of the Marine Conservation Zones in the county has been proposed for the Blackwater estuary including the River Crouch.

The designated zone is likely to increase benefits such as food security and resilience against pollution.

Mr Whittingdale said: “We are immensely fortunate to have the incredible amenities that the Blackwater provides."