Red Bay SCI

Status: Designated


Site overview

The Red Bay site is located off the County Antrim village of Cushendun, Northern Ireland. It contains sandbanks which are made up of maerl, sub-fossil maerl, coarse sands, gravels and cobbles. Unique to this site is the presence of large 2-3m high mega-ripples of sub-fossil maerl. These mega-ripples are comprised of maerl, gravel and sands on the crests, and cobbles and globular sub-fossil maerl in the troughs. 

MPA Type

Site of Community Importance

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). Sites that have been adopted by the European Commission but not yet formally designated by the government of each country are referred to as Sites of Community Interest (SCIs).

Designation date

1 August 2010

Surface Area

9.65 km2 (3.73 mi.2)


16.90 km (10.50 mi.)

  • Subtidal sandbanks

    Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time

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