Luce Bay and Sands SAC

Status: Designated


Site overview

This site has been put in place to protect the different types of sand dunes found here. The areas of sea contain mixed boulders which are home to kelp and sea-oak, red algae and the dahlia anemone.  Worms dig into the sand, whilst brittlestars live on top, catching passing nutrients as food. The site is regularly scallop dredged by vessels from across the British Island, that MCS believes damages the site.

MPA Type

Special Area of Conservation

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are strictly protected sites designated under European legislation. They contribute both to the UK MPA network and set up to protect habitat types and species considered to be most in need of conservation at a European level (excluding birds).

Designation date

1 January 1996

Surface Area

487.53 km2 (188.24 mi.2)


122.61 km (76.19 mi.)

  • Intertidal mudflats and sandflats (Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide)
  • Subtidal sandbanks

    Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time

  • Shallow inlets and bays (Shallow inlets and bays)
  • Reefs

    Areas where the bedrock, stable boulders and cobbles or structures created by animals arise from the surrounding seabed. They attract and provide a home to a huge variety of plant and animal life.

Did you know?…

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

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’

Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers