Runswick Bay

Site overview: Runswick Bay extends 3nm out to sea from an area of the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast. The site is made up of different types of rock and sediment habitats, each supporting diverse and unique communities, including the ocean quahog - a type of clam which can live for up to 400 years! The shallow rocky areas are home to kelps and red seaweeds, while deeper areas are covered in sponges, sea squirts, sea urchins and starfish. The waters here provide suitable spawning ground for herring and lemon sole, and nursery areas for sprat, cod, whiting and plaice. Nearby cliffs provide the ideal habitat for cliff-nesting birds, including kittiwakes, fulmars and gannets. Harbour porpoises are also regularly recorded here. At risk:  ! Seaseach (a network of scientifically trained scuba divers) conducted a report of this 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


54° 33' 54" North,
0° 42' 51" West

Surface Area

67.67 km2
(26.13 mi.2 )


37.96 km
(23.59 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site