Geikie Slide and Hebridean Slope NCMPA

Status: Designated


Site overview

Located off north-west Scotland, this site follows the descent of the seabed from the continental shelf at a depth of 200m into the deep-sea. This is a submarine landslide, named after the famous Scottish geologist, Sir Archibald Geikie. A diverse range of sea life can be found living in and on the mud, including sea urchins, sea spiders, and deep-sea worms. The area is also a breeding ground for fish such as blue ling.

MPA Type

Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area

Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (NCMPAs) are designated under UK legislation (Marine Scotland Act 2010) and have been established around Scotland to contribute to the UK MPA network by protecting a range of important habitats, species and features of the seabed.

Designation date

24 July 2014

Surface Area

2,217.93 km2 (856.35 mi.2)


202.37 km (125.75 mi.)

  • Burrowed mud

    Burrowed mud is a surprisingly important marine habitat which supports a rich community of animals.   There are the burrow-making animals that live within the mud itself, including fish, worms, brittlestars, crabs and shrimps.  Secondly, there are those a

  • Offshore deep sea muds

    One of the most widespread and common habitats in the Scottish offshore environment which supports a variety of animals including prawns, shellfish, starfish and worms.

  • Continental slope

    A relatively steeply sloping surface between the outer edge of the continental shelf, the area of seabed around the UK which is shallower than the open ocean, and the deep ocean floor.

  • Offshore subtidal sands and gravels

    Offshore areas of sand and gravel that are offshore and always covered by water. These habitats can support a rich variety of life and support internationally important commercial fisheries, such as those for scallops and flatfish.

  • Slide deposit and slide scars representative of the Geikie Slide Key Geodiversity Area

    Areas where glacial movement has resulted in scars on the seabed and accumulations of sand and sediment have been left by this massive movement.

Did you know?…

Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns

An area over 9 times the size of Wales is now in marine protected areas in the UK, but less than 1% is considered by MCS scientists to be well managed