Site overview: This site lies 4 km off the east coast of Orkney in northern Scotland. It is made up of the island of Copinsay and three islets (Corn Holm, Ward Holm and Black Holm). Seabirds (auks and kittiwakes) nest here, especially on the sheer cliffs of the south-east of Copinsay.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Special Protection Area
MPA Purpose
areas of the most important habitat for rare (listed on Annex I to the Directive) and migratory birds within the European Union


58° 53' 54" North,
2° 40' 59" West

Surface Area

36.11 km2
(13.94 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Marine areas, Sea inlets


  • Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Great black-backed gull (Larus marinus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) (Regularly occurring migratory species)


  • Seabird assemblage


  • Common guillemot (Uria aalge) (Regularly occurring migratory species)