Papa Stour

Site overview: This site was designated to protect the reefs on hard rocks in the extreme north of Scotland as this is one of the most exposed sites in the UK. The underwater terrain is rugged, with rock walls, slopes, gullies, ledges, ridges and boulder slopes, which support a diverse range of plant and animal communities. There are lots of sea caves here, tunnels and arches occurring in cold northerly waters. There are large kelp forests as well as different types of soft coral, and featherstars.

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


60° 19' 43" North,
1° 41' 39" West

Surface Area

20.79 km2
(8.03 mi.2 )


64.94 km
(40.35 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Reefs
  • Sea caves (Submerged or partially submerged sea caves)