The special and unique qualities of the Colourful Coast area have been recognised through many definitions and designations, both on land and at sea

Site of Special Scientific Interest


Sites of Special Scientific Interest’s (SSSIs) are protected by law to preserve their special qualities.  The St Bees Head SSSI was designated in 1995 for its biological and geological interest.

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Heritage Coast


Heritage Coast designations were established to conserve the best stretches of undeveloped coast in England.  St Bees Head was designated in 1992 and is one of only a handful without the extra protection of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or National Park.

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Marine Conservation Zone

Waves crashing on rocks, Colourful Coast, Cumbria

MCZs protect a range of nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology.  The Cumbria Coast MCZ was designated in 2013 as it supports some of the best, most extensive and important examples of rocky shore habitats on the  coast of north-west England.

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Scheduled Ancient Monuments

Saltom Pit beneath the cliffs, Whitehaven

Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) are nationally important archaeological sites.  Within the Colourful Coast areas there are several SAM sites including Saltom Pit, Haig Colliery buildings and Barrowmouth Gypsum and Alabaster mine.

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