Newquay and The Gannel

Site overview: This Marine Conservation Zone (which is a type of Marine Protected Area) is 9km2 and lies alongside the Cornish coast, around Newquay. This site includes the Gannel estuary, stretching along its seaward boundary. This area has a huge variety of habitats, from salt-marsh and saline reed-beds to sand and rocky reef. Pin sea fans, crayfish, European eel and sponges can be found living on the reef. Sandeels, which burrow and hide in the sand and gravel to avoid predators, also live here. Salmon even migrate up the estuary to breed here. The site is also home to the giant goby, native oysters, ballan wrasse, corkwing wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, goldsinny, pollack, rock cook, and seabass.

Seeing below the surface

Before this area was designated, Seasearch (a network of scientifically trained scuba divers) conducted a report of this site

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° 25' 12" North,
5° 6' 16" West

Surface Area

8.99 km2
(3.47 mi.2 )


47.50 km
(29.52 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site