Wyville Thomson Ridge SAC

Status: Designated


Site overview

This site gets its name from a rock ridge situated in the Atlantic Ocean at the northern end of the Rockall Trough. It is approximately 20km wide and 70km long. It is thought to have been formed by the ploughing movement of icebergs through the seabed at the end of the last ice age. Sponges, cup and soft corals, featherstars, brittlestars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and sea spiders all live here. 

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 2010

Surface Area

1,740.63 km2 (672.06 mi.2)


211.73 km (131.56 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 half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns

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

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