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?…

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

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

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

The future of fisheries is being decided

Fisheries CampaignThe UK government has opened a public consultation asking how we think they should manage our fisheries after Brexit through a new Fisheries Bill.

Act now!