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A seagrass bed with small fish. Photographer: Christine Howson. © SNH. All rights reserved. Please contact CMEU for details -

South Arran NCMPA

Some of Scotland’s most important and productive seabed habitats are protected by the South Arran Nature Conservation MPA designation.

Designated for its diversity of animals and plants, the site features maerl beds, kelp and seaweed communities, and burrowed mud. What is possibly the Clyde’s largest seagrass bed is also found here.

Covering over 250 square kilometres, including the Lamlash Bay No Take Zone, the South Arran NCMPA will provide long-term support for our seas.

Learn all about Lamlash Bay No Take Zone on the Community Of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) website.

Conservation objectives

  • Recover the maerl beds
  • Conserve the other protected features of the South Arran NCMPA

Protected features


  • burrowed mud
  • kelp and seaweed communities on sublittoral sediments
  • maerl beds
  • maerl or coarse shell gravel with burrowing sea cucumbers
  • ocean quahog aggregations
  • seagrass beds
  • shallow tide-swept coarse sands with burrowing bivalves


South Arran Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area Order 2014

South Arran Marine Protected Area: Site summary -  A microcosm of Clyde Sea habitats and species

South Arran MPA boundary map

South Arran MPA: Data confidence assessment

South Arran MPA: Assessment against the MPA Selection Guidelines

South Arran MPA: Management options

SNH Commissioned Report 749 - The distribution of maerl and other coarse sediment proposed protected features within the South Arran pMPA - a data review to inform management options


Email: [email protected]

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