Sound of Barra

Site overview: This site is a mixture of islands, extensive rocky reefs, sandbanks and shallow channels between the southern end of South Uist and the north eastern shore of the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides. There are seagrass beds in the Sound and maerl is also present over a wide area,although neither are in great condition. There are many types of reef here too, along with mixed kelp communities. Deeper rock surfaces are covered by a turf of red algae and the shores are dominated by the barnacles and small patches of mussels.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Site of Community Importance
MPA Purpose
Sites which have been adopted by the EC, but not yet formally designated by governments of Member States are known as Sites of Community Importance (SCIs)


57° 3' 16" North,
7° 20' 58" West

Surface Area

124.86 km2
(48.21 mi.2 )


210.84 km
(131.01 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Reefs


  • Common seal (Phoca vitulina)


  • Subtidal sandbanks (Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time)