Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are the country's very best wildlife and geological sites. They include some of the most spectacular and beautiful habitats, but are a largely terrestrial designation, rarely extending below the Low Water Mark.

Title: Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Status: Statutory - Designated SSSI covers an area of 345Ha

When designated: Lundy SSSI was first designated  in 1976 and re-notified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) on 3 September 1987

Description & reasons for notification: 

Lundy Island, in the Bristol Channel, is 18km from the nearest mainland. It is about 5km long by 1km wide, aligned north-south, with cliffs rising to a plateau at about 110m. The rock is mostly granite, with slate at the southern end, and the plateau soil is mainly loam with some peat. The west side is very exposed to weather and salt spray and has virtually bare cliffs, while the eastern side is comparatively sheltered and is largely covered with scrub. The plateau carries mainly heathy vegetation except where the land has been agriculturally improved or built on. These activities are concentrated towards the southern end, though there is archaeological evidence of historic land use over the whole island.

What it means for Lundy: 

There are several features of interest. Some of the heath occurs in a waved form which only develops in conditions of extreme exposure to wind. One plant, the Lundy Cabbage occurs only on Lundy. There are important breeding populations of sea and coastal birds, and the island is a well-known staging post for migrating birds, while many vagrants have been recorded. Seals breed in several sea caves. Flora and fauna, both marine and terrestrial, have been studied and recorded for many years.

On Lundy the intertidal foreshore is a small, but integral part of the marine life around the island. Rocks and sea-level caves support a breeding colony of Atlantic grey seal Halichoerus grypus which are protected as a feature of the SSSI.

The other marine-related features of the SSSI designation are the seabirds; Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla),razorbill (Alca torda), common guillemot (Uria aalge), Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica), and Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus).