Margate and Long Sands SCI

Status: Designated


Site overview

This site starts to the north of the Thanet coast of Kent and proceeds in a north-easterly direction to the outer reaches of the Thames Estuary.  Long Sands, as the name suggests, is a long sandbank found in this site. As the sand shifts in time the main animals that can live in it are small worms and amphipods. Crabs, squid, brown shrimp and sole and herring also swim through. 

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

648.39 km2 (250.34 mi.2)


156.90 km (97.49 mi.)

Coordinates (central point)

51° 34' 0" North, 1° 22' 20" East

  • Subtidal sandbanks

    Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time

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

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