Darwin Mounds SAC

Status: Designated


Site overview

This site gets its name from an area of sandy mounds each of which is capped with cold-water coral. Each of the mounds is approximately 100m in diameter and 5m high. These coral caps are thought to be unique due to the particular geological processes which formed the mounds and the fact that the coral is growing on sand. The individual reefs in turn are home to sponges and starfish. 

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 August 2008

Surface Area

1,378.22 km2 (532.13 mi.2)


146.34 km (90.93 mi.)

  • Reefs

    Areas where the bedrock, stable boulders and cobbles or structures created by animals arise from the surrounding seabed. They attract and provide a home to a huge variety of plant and animal life.

Did you know?…

Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers

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