The Canyons

Site overview: This site is located in the far south-west corner of the UK continental shelf and has a unique cold water coral reef feature within it, the only known reef of this type in England. The site is at the edge of the shelf, which drops away steeply and there are two large canyons within the site. Seabirds and cetaceans have often been seen 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


48° 20' 4" North,
9° 40' 42" West

Surface Area

660.50 km2
(255.02 mi.2 )


110.19 km
(68.47 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Cold-water coral reefs (FOCI habitat)
  • Deep-sea bed (Broad-scale habitat)