Start Point to Plymouth Sound & Eddystone SCI

Status: Designated


Site overview

This site lies off the south coast of England, off the counties of Devon and Cornwall, and is made up of three groups of reef: Start Point to West Rutts Reefs, Bigbury Bay to Plymouth Sound Reefs and the Eddystone Reefs The inshore reefs here support large kelp forests; kelp is recognised as being one of the most productive and dynamic ecosystems on Earth. 

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

340.99 km2 (131.66 mi.2)


322.57 km (200.44 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.

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Seasearch has and continues to be very active in south Devon waters, and is collaborating with the Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) to record habitat quality and distribution.

Learn more about Seasearch

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’

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