Allonby Bay

Site overview: Allonby Bay is a long, crescent shaped sand and shingle beach, surrounded by shallow waters. It stetches for five miles around the coast into the Solway Firth (which is a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty in Cumbria) and contains two extremely important areas for marine life, Dubmill Scar and Maryport Roads. The 39km square area is incredibly diverse, it has many different species of sponge, soft coral, seaweed, sea squirt, anemone and reef-building honeycomb worms. The honeycomb worm reef, a key feature here, prevents sediments from shifting and provides a home for lots of marine wildlife. Allonby Bay contains some of the best examples of reef in the north west. About 300 species of algae are found in the Solway area. Some wonderfully named creatures live here too, such as the baked bean sea squirt and the breadcrumb sponge. Harbour Porpoises can be seen on a daily basis in the waters around Silloth. Also, Allonby Bay is believed to be a spawning and nursery ground for plaice, skate, seabass and thornback rays.

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


54° 46' 3" North,
3° 28' 54" West

Surface Area

39.08 km2
(15.09 mi.2 )


24.54 km
(15.25 mi.)

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