Bae Cemlyn/ Cemlyn Bay SAC

Status: Designated


Site overview

The lagoon here is thought to be the best example of a saline coastal lagoon in Wales. It is separated from the sea by a shingle bank with a narrow channel at the western end, across which a sluice system was built in the 1930s. Seawater mixes with freshwater via this sluice and, in storms, the waves can get so big that they go over the top. This is a really unique environment, and certain types of animals which only live in lagoon areas are found here, such as the lagoon cockle and the lagoonal mud-snail. Some rare plant species grow within the lagoon, including the brackish water-crowfoot and beaked tasselweed.

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 2000

Surface Area

0.44 km2 (0.17 mi.2)


7.33 km (4.56 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

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

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