Potential Annex I sandbanks in UK waters


The map shows areas of potential Annex I sandbank habitat in UK waters. This should be treated as a guide rather than the definitive extent and distribution of the habitat as sandbank boundaries are difficult to delineate and boundaries do not reflect the fact that sandbank complexes may also include the areas between and around the raised banks.

The ‘sandbank area’ shown here has been produced using depth and slope information in combination with sediment data to identify independent sandy elevations from the seabed. These were added to sandy areas associated with eel grass/maerl beds identified before 2007.

Also displayed is ‘sandbank range’ – areas of sandy sediment in less than 60 metres water depth that are connected to areas of sandy sediment in less than 20 metres water depth. This is to give an indication of the possible total range of UK sandbanks (the 60 m limit is equivalent to the deepest site contour (found at Dogger Bank SCI), and was previously set at 50 m).

The actual extent of sandbanks in the UK is likely to be somewhere between that estimated from the Area and Range datasets. The Range map gives an over-estimate as it does not exclude flat and gently sloping sand; the Area map may be an under-estimate as it is based on current best available evidence that includes modelled data with lower confidence. As more detailed data is collated at the site level new methods suited to the individual sites may be used to improve the layers.


For information on how this dataset was constructed, please read this document (PDF 350 KB)