Lundy is a granite and slate reef system and is selected for its outstanding representation of reef habitats in south-west England. Lundy Island is exposed to a wide range of physical conditions as a result of differing degrees of wave action and tidal stream strength on sheltered and exposed coasts and headlands. This range of physical conditions, combined with the site’s topographical variation, has resulted in the presence of a unusually diverse complex of marine habitats and associated communities within a small area. The reefs of Lundy extend well over 1 km offshore and drop steeply into deep water in some areas. The variety of habitats and associated species on the reefs is outstanding and includes, for example, a large number of seaweeds and many rare or unusual species, including Mediterranean-Atlantic species representing biogeographically distinct communities at, or very close to, their northern limit of distribution. In particular, fragile long-lived species, such as the soft coral Parerythropodium coralloides, sea-fan Eunicella verrucosa and a variety of erect branching sponges, are found in deep, sheltered conditions, particularly on the east coast of the island. All five British species of cup-coral are found here, including the scarlet and gold star-coral Balanophyllia regia and the sunset cup-coral Leptopsammia pruvoti.
Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site