Hartland Point to Tintagel

Site overview: Running along the north Cornish coast, this site is 304km2 and runs from the shoreline to depths of approximately 50 meters. Near to the shore, gently sloping bedrock is home to different types of algae and kelp forest species. Lower shore habitats have exceptionally wonderful colonies of reef-building honeycomb worms - possibly the best found in Britain! There are large mussel beds in the northern half of the bay. In deeper waters the rock is covered in sea squirts and sponges. This huge variety of habitats supports a multitude of fish species such as ballan wrasse, corkwing wrasse, goldsinny, pollack and seabass. Corals such as pink sea fans, and other marine life such as peacock├óÔé¼Ôäós tail algae, live here. It is also thought that this is an important area for cetaceans and sharks, especially porbeagle sharks. Shaped like a torpedo with a pointed snout, the porbeagle shark has come under severe pressure from fishing and is classed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN’s list of threatened species. Dive below the waves Seasearch (a network of scientifically trained scuba divers) dived this site in 2014 and completed a report detailing what they saw. Their report details the bedrock - and they confirmed that it was covered by encrusting sponges, with jewel anemones and a silty, short, hydroid turf. This evidence helped ensure that the area was designated as a Marine Conservation Zone - a type of Marine Protected Area.

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° 47' 51" North,
4° 42' 29" West

Surface Area

303.97 km2
(117.36 mi.2 )


208.13 km
(129.33 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site