Protected area type: Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Feature type: 
  • Habitat
  • Species
  • Marine
  • Antrim
Council: Mid and East Antrim
Guidance and literature: The Maidens ASSI

The Maidens ASSI consists of two small islands (the West and East Maidens) and a series of rock platforms which dry out at low water.

They are formed of an igneous rock known as dolerite which appears to take the form of a series of massive intrusions in to older rocks. The latter has been eroded away leaving the dolerite exposed both above and below the sea.

The Maidens are of importance for their breeding European shag colony, seal population, both common and grey and a range of intertidal rock communities where there are sheltered communties with species such as spiral and toothed wracks.

The Maidens provides a range of habitat types for seals and pups and both grey and common seals have been recorded.

West Maiden provides permanently dry rock which is ideal for pupping, while the islets and reefs, exposed at low water, offer opportunites for feeding or moulting.

Back to top