Wester Ross NCMPA - designation documents

Designated to safeguard diverse seabed habitats, Wester Ross Nature Conservation MPA also protects the site’s complex underwater geodiversity.

Wester Ross summary front cover

Features in the waters around Wester Ross range from burrowed mud with seapens to flame shell beds and lush kelp forests to northern feather stars. The NCMPA designation plays a vital role in their protection.

Conservation objectives

  • Recover the maerl beds and flame shell beds
  • Conserve the other protected features within the Wester Ross NCMPA

Protected features


  • burrowed mud
  • circalittoral muddy sand communities
  • flame shell beds
  • kelp and seaweed communities on sublittoral sediment
  • maerl beds
  • maerl or coarse shell gravel with burrowing sea cucumbers
  • northern feather star aggregations on mixed substrata


  • marine geomorphology of the Scottish shelf seabed – banks of unknown substrate
  • Quaternary of Scotland – glaciated channels/troughs, megascale glacial lineations, moraines
  • seabed fluid and gas seep – pockmarks
  • submarine mass movement – slide scars

Related links

Wester Ross Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area Order 2014

Document downloads


Marine Protected Areas

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Disclaimer: Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has changed its name to NatureScot as of the 24th August 2020. 
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