The seas around Lundy Island have several different types of protection, there is a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in this area, as well as this Special Area of Conservation (SAC); both are types of Marine Protected Area. The boundary for the SAC follows that of the MCZ. Overview The beautiful clear waters of Lundy are home to an incredibly diverse array of marine life. The warm southern currents of the Gulf Stream meet colder northern waters, creating a unique environment where cool water and Mediterranean species live side by side. The often clear, turquoise waters open up a window into this world revealing glimpses of brightly coloured sea stars, delicate jewel anemones and rare corals which bedeck the underwater granite cliffs. If you go out on the water you are likely to run into the inquisitive Atlantic seals which live in this area. It is not uncommon to see 30 or 40 seals following kayakers who paddle through. Properly Protected The incredible, but fragile, marine life at Lundy has been protected since 1971, when a voluntary marine nature reserve was established around the island. In the 80s it was designated as England’s first, and what turned out to be only, statutory Marine Nature Reserve (MNR). Then, in January 2003, the east coast of the island was designated a No-Take Zone (NTZ) meaning that it is completely protected from fishing and damaging activities. The waters around Lundy became England’s first Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ - a type of Marine Protected Area) in January 2010.

The Sea Fans of Lundy

Seasearch (a scientific network of scuba divers who record information on our underwater world) have carried out regular surveys of the sea fan populations at Lundy since 2001. Lundy sea fans sadly suffered from a bacterial infection in 2001 which caused extensive damage to the colonies. Many of these dead colonies still stand and provide a habitat for a variety of other animals. Where colonies were not completely killed the remaining living sections continued to grow and a particular characteristic of the sea fans on Lundy remains large colonies with a dead centre and healthy growing extremities.

The benefits of proper protection In a small area around Lundy it is illegal to remove sea life from the sea. This is known as a no take zone. After just four years of protection the lobster populations of Lundy were recovering with more large lobsters found in the reserve than in the waters outside it. This is because the reserve acts as a refuge where young lobsters can grow to maturity

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


51° 11' 6" North,
4° 40' 1" West

Surface Area

30.69 km2
(11.85 mi.2 )


52.52 km
(32.63 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site