Site overview: This site is adjacent to the east coast of the Isle of Wight, and includes Sandown Bay and Bembridge Harbour. It goes out towards the deep water in the channel approach into the Eastern Solent. The site is 85 km2. The site has an exceptionally diverse range of habitats and species and is a really important area for maerl beds, sea pens and stalked jellyfish. The reef-building ross worm, native oysters and seagrass beds are also found here. The ledges to the south of Bembridge Harbour are home to large fields of brown alga and peacock’s tail, as well as the lagoon sand shrimp and starlet sea anemone.
At risk:  ! This site is at risk, it currently is not designated as a Marine Conservation Zone, a type of Marine Protected Area - but should be. Decision makers in England will determine in 2017 if this site should be protected, make sure your voice is heard. Take action to ensure this site becomes a properly protected area.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Marine Conservation Zone
MPA Purpose
to protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology


50° 40' 13" North,
1° 4' 20" West

Surface Area

84.83 km2
(32.75 mi.2 )


56.74 km
(35.25 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site