Bedrock reefs extend to well over 1km offshore from the west coast and unusually deep water, 30 to 40 metres deep, is found relatively close to the island. Steeply sloping, vertical and overhanging underwater cliffs are present here, typically covered by dense growths of delicate marine invertebrates. To add to this, around 300 species of seaweed colonise the shores and reefs around the island, limited to growing in shallower waters due to light availability.
Lundy’s unique situation lying on a north-south orientation in the mouth of the Bristol Channel contributes to the existence of a range of sheltered and wave exposed conditions which are also conducive for a wide variety of species to thrive. As a result of its geographical situation many species more likely to be found in the Mediterranean sometimes settle and survive on Lundy. This includes an array of rare and unusual invertebrate species such as colourful jewel anemones, delicate sea fans and rare corals which encrust the underwater granite cliffs.
The Marine Conservation Zone and No Take Zone at Lundy provide a refuge by protecting Lundy’s special marine habitats from damaging use and allowing the marine wildlife here to flourish. The outcome is a healthy and wildlife-rich marine environment that all of us can appreciate and enjoy - and an environment that is as near to its natural state as we can possibly achieve.