The seas around Lundy Island have several different types of protection; there is a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in this area, as well as this Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Both are types of Marine Protected Area. The boundary for the SAC follows that of the MCZ. Site details The SAC was put in place to protect certain features which include the incredible reefs that extend well over 1 km offshore. The habitats and animals found here are outstanding and include many types of rare or unusual seaweeds. For example fragile long-lived species, such as soft coral is found here, along with beautiful pink sea-fans and a variety of erect branching sponges. All five British species of cup-coral are found here, including the scarlet and gold star-coral and the sunset cup-coral. Also protected here is the special sandbank where thousands of crabs and sea urchins live. This designation also protects little-explored sea caves and a colony of over 100 grey seals. If you go out on the water you are likely to run into the inquisitive Atlantic Seals which live in this area. It is not uncommon to see 30 or 40 seals following kayakers who paddle through. More information on the Lundy SAC can be found on the official Lundy MCZ website. The Sea Fans of Lundy
Seasearch (a scientific network scuba divers who record information on our underwater world) have carried out regular surveys of the sea fan populations at Lundy since 2001. Lundy sea fans sadly suffered from a bacterial infection in 2001 which caused extensive damage to the colonies. Many of these dead colonies still stand and provide a habitat for a variety of other animals. Where colonies were not completely killed the remaining living sections continued to grow and a particular characteristic of the sea fans on Lundy remains large colonies with a dead centre and healthy growing extremities. You can read a report from Seaseach about their surveys of sea fans on their website. The benefits of proper protection: In a small area around Lundy it is illegal to remove sea life from the sea. This is known as a no take zone. After just four years of protection the lobster populations of Lundy were recovering with more large lobsters found in the reserve than in the waters outside it. This is because the reserve acts as a refuge where young lobsters can grow to maturity.

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


51° 11' 3" North,
4° 40' 6" West

Surface Area

30.71 km2
(11.86 mi.2 )


47.32 km
(29.40 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Reefs
  • Subtidal sandbanks (Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time)
  • Sea caves (Submerged or partially submerged sea caves)


  • Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus)