Loch of Stenness SAC

Status: Designated


Site overview

This site is made up of coastal lagoons, including the largest brackish lagoon in the UK. The soft mud here supports mats of green algae and large numbers of burrowing worms. In the more salty areas of the lagoon, clumps of mussels live. 

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 October 1996

Surface Area

7.93 km2 (3.06 mi.2)


22.35 km (13.89 mi.)

  • Lagoons (Coastal lagoons)

Did you know?…

Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas

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