Shell Flat and Lune Deep SCI

Status: Designated


Site overview

Shell Flat sandbank runs northeast from the southern corner of the site in a blunt crescent to the south west. The sandbank is a massive 15km long from east to west.  This is an important foraging ground for many over wintering bird species. A large population (50,000+) of the species who visit the area feed on creatures that live in the submerged sandbanks. 

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

105.74 km2 (40.83 mi.2)


63.02 km (39.16 mi.)

  • Subtidal sandbanks

    Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time

  • 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.

Did you know?…

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

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