Bassurelle Sandbank SAC

Status: Designated


Site overview

The Bassurelle Sandbank is in the Dover Strait which straddles the boundary between UK and French waters. The part of the sandbank within UK waters is approximately 2.5km at its widest point, and has a maximum height of around 15m.  Lots of small worms burrow into this sandbank and call it home. They in turn act as a food source for larger sea creatures. On the bank itself, hermit crabs scurry around, and brittlestars wave their arms in the current to catch food. Sand eels and weever fish have also been spotted swimming through.  The region is a nursery area for lemon sole, mackerel and sand eel and a spawning area for cod, lemon sole, sole, plaice, sandeel and sprat.

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

67.11 km2 (25.91 mi.2)


45.78 km (28.44 mi.)

Coordinates (central point)

50° 35' 38" North, 1° 0' 28" East

  • Subtidal sandbanks

    Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time

  • Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time

    Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time provide a habitat for burrowing animals like worms, shellfish and urchins.

Did you know?…

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

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

Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

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