Beachy Head West

Site overview: This site is actually two spatially separate areas in the south-east of England. They run parallel to the East Sussex coastline extending from Brighton to the Beachy Head Cliffs near Eastbourne. This protects a total area of approximately 24 km2. Here, chalk reefs and gullies are home to a wide variety of animals, including the rare short-snouted seahorse. Seahorses have excellent eyesight and hunt for their food by sight. They feed on a variety of small crustaceans, such as shrimp, but do not have teeth so instead suck food up through their snouts. Forests of kelp are found in the shallow areas here, whilst ridges and gully sides are covered with tightly packed blue mussels mixed with native oysters. Species such as lobsters, spider crabs and hermit crabs are also found here

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Marine Conservation Zone
MPA Purpose
to protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology


50° 46' 15" North,
0° 4' 8" East

Surface Area

24.36 km2
(9.41 mi.2 )


60.69 km
(37.71 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site