South Wight Maritime

Site overview: This site is located on the southern shore of the Isle of Wight, off the coast of southern England. There is a huge variety of reefs here, including chalk, limestone and sandstone reefs. These are home to a diverse range of species, including a number of rare or unusual seaweeds such as the shepherd’s purse seaweed. This site also contains the only known subtidal chalk caves in the UK, which are home to rare algal species.

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


50° 38' 6" North,
1° 14' 55" West

Surface Area

198.81 km2
(76.76 mi.2 )


137.96 km
(85.72 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


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