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Special Areas of Conservation

Firth of Lorn

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Extra-Regio, Highlands and Islands
Centroid* NM696089
Latitude 56.21666667
Longitude -5.716666667
SAC EU Code UK0030041
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 20999.35
* This is the approximate central point of the SAC. In the case of large, linear or composite sites, this may not represent the location where a feature occurs within the SAC.
Location of Firth of Lorn SAC

General site character

  • Marine areas, Sea inlets (100%)

Download the Natura 2000 standard data form for this site as submitted to Europe (PDF <100kb)

Note When undertaking an appropriate assessment of impacts at a site, all features of European importance (both primary and non-primary) need to be considered.

Annex I habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site

  • 1170 Reefs

    This well-defined, discrete area encompasses a complex group of islands, sounds and inlets characterised by some of the strongest tidal streams in the UK. The area is moderately exposed to wave action with very sheltered pockets enclosed by islands and skerries. Reefs extend from the shallow depths between the islands and mainland into depths of over 200 m, in many places close inshore. The varied physical environment is reflected in the variety of reef types and associated communities and species, which are amongst the most diverse in both the UK and Europe. These range from those characteristic of conditions sheltered from waves and currents, to those influenced by extreme tidal streams. A rapid transition in communities occurs with the deceleration of the tidal streams. Species present include some which are normally characteristic of deeper water (the sponges Mycale lingua and Clathria barleii, and the featherstar Leptometra celtica), and others which are considered scarce (including the brown alga Desmarestia dresnayi). Many species occurring here have either a northern or southern-influenced distribution and reach their geographic limits in this area, for example, the southern cup-coral Caryophyllia inornata, the nationally scarce brittlestar Ophiopsila annulosa, and the northern bryozoans Bugula purpurotincta and Caberea ellisii.

Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

  • Not Applicable

Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site

  • Not Applicable

Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

  • Not Applicable

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.