Studland to Portland SCI
This site lies off the south coast of Dorset and contains lots of different types of underwater reefs. For example, there is a series of limestone ledges (up to 15m across) which stick out of the shelly gravel at Worbarrow Bay. These are home to a rich sponge and sea fan community. Beautiful brittlestars have made their home on shale reefs extending from Kimmeridge; a unique reef feature, known as St Albans ledge, extends out over 10km offshore. Mussel beds flourish at Portland Reefs.
MPA TypeSite 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 date1 August 2012
Surface Area332.15 km2 (128.24 mi.2)
Perimeter181.51 km (112.79 mi.)
Dorset Seasearch conducts many dives in this area which encompasses the reefs between Swanage Bay and the Isle of Portland.Learn more about Seasearch
Did you know?…
Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘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
To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’
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