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Noss Head MPA
IUCN Category IV (Habitat/Species Management Area)
Across Sand Geo to Noss Head (geograph 2495387).jpg
Noss Head seen from the west
Location Caithness, Scotland
Area 800 ha (2,000 acres)
Designation Scottish Government
Established 2014
Operator Marine Scotland

Noss Head is a headland on the north-west coast of Scotland that overlooks Sinclairs Bay. It lies approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north-east of Wick in Caithness, in the Highland council area of Scotland.

Noss Head Lighthouse

Noss Head Lighthouse first entered service in 1849, and consists of an 18-metre-high (59 ft) cylindrical tower, which is painted white. It supports a single gallery and a lantern with a black cupola. It is notable as being the first lighthouse that was built with a diagonally paned lantern room. In 1987 the light was converted to automatic operation. The lighthouse is still owned and operated by the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB).

Marine Protected Area

A sea area of 800 ha (3.1 sq mi) off Noss Head has been designated as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) since 2014. It is home to the largest bed of horse mussels known in Scottish waters, which lies at a depth of between 35 and 45 m below sea level. Living amongst the mussel beds are many other species, including soft corals, tubeworms, barnacles, sea firs, and sea mats, brittlestars, crabs, worms and molluscs.

The MPA is designated a Category IV protected area by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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