Morecambe Bay

Site overview: Morecambe Bay in north-west England is the made up of four main estuaries, the Leven, Kent, Lune and Wyre, together with other smaller examples such as the Keer. Together these form the largest single area of continuous intertidal mudflats and sandflats in the UK. The Lune Estuary falls within the Morecambe Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC), a type of Marine Protected Area. The Wyre is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. A proposed Marine Conservation Zone in the area will complement these designations and provide much needed protection for smelt, which is why it is important that this area is recognised and designated in 2017. Morecambe Bay supports exceptionally large beds of mussels and is also home to a large variety of sponges.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Special Area of Conservation
MPA Purpose
areas which have been identified as best representing the range and variety within the European Union of habitats and (non-bird) species listed on Annexes I and II to the Directive


54° 4' 40" North,
3° 1' 36" West

Surface Area

615.82 km2
(237.77 mi.2 )


330.24 km
(205.20 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Atlantic salt meadows (Atlantic salt meadows (Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae))
  • Estuaries
  • Intertidal mudflats and sandflats (Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide)
  • Reefs
  • Lagoons (Coastal lagoons)
  • Subtidal sandbanks (Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time)
  • Shallow inlets and bays (Large shallow inlets and bays)
  • Glasswort and other annuals colonising mud and sand (Salicornia and other annuals colonising mud and sand)