The site is within the Isles of Scilly archipelago 45km southwest of Land's End, England, and mainly consists of many small uninhabited islands and parts of some inhabited islands, with habitats including coastal cliffs, boulder beaches, heathland, and some dune grassland. The economy of local communities depends heavily upon tourism, which benefits from the presence of high numbers of breeding seabirds in an attractive environment. The site qualifies for the List by virtue of Criterion 6, for during the breeding season some 2.9% of the population of Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) is supported. The sea cliffs, rocky islets, and boulder beaches are relatively devoid of plant communities except for a sparse crevice vegetation with Crithmum maritimum and Armeria maritima. An environmental trust manages most of the land within the site and controls access of visitors to the most vulnerable areas by voluntary agreement with tour boat operators; it also maintains a rat control programme to reduce their impact on ground-nesting seabirds.
This site is currently under consideration for inclusion in the new UK MPA network. Having marine components does not automatically qualify a site to be part of the new MPA network. As such, the marine components of this site, as well as the management efforts, are being evaluated. Check out our MPApedia page on the UK for more information!