Lyme Bay

Lyme Bay extends for 65 kilometres from Exmouth in East Devon to Portland in West Dorset. In Lyme Bay the cold water from the North meets the warmer water from the South. This results in cold and warm water species living in Lyme Bay. The reef habitat of Lyme Bay is home to a rich diversity of marine life. There are over 300 hundred plants and animals including rare and protected species and seven species of coral. The reefs in Lyme Bay also host valuable seafood species such as crab and scallop.

Click on the thumbnail photos below to find out more about the life in Lyme Bay...

Sunset coral

Latin name - Leptopsammia pruvoti  Size - up to 3cm in diameter  Habitat - attached to shady rock faces below the low water mark

This slow growing solitary coral is highly vulnerable to disturbances. It is long-living but reproduces very infrequently and is extremely rare. Sunset coral has only been found in four locations around the South-West coast of Britain. It is a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan which aims to maintain the current population of this coral.