Highlands & Islands

Divers reveal St Kilda marine life in 'good condition'

Lion's Mane jellyfish Image copyright George Stoyle
Image caption A Lion's Mane jellyfish

Reefs and sea caves around St Kilda are in "good condition", Scottish Natural Heritage divers have revealed.

Underwater researchers photographed stunning images of marine life in the archipelago.

A new species of soft coral was also discovered in one of the caves.

St Kilda's protected waters have been designated a special area of conservation for their spectacular sea life.

Yellow and purple jewel anemone Image copyright George Stoyle
Image caption Yellow and purple jewel anemone
Underwater cliff Image copyright George Stoyle
Image caption Sea anemone cover an underwater cliff

A Scottish Natural Heritage spokesman said: "The purpose of the survey was to judge the current condition of the site.

"Weather conditions severely interrupted the team's plans, but they managed to survey four caves, returning with valuable data and a collection of stunning photographs."

The newly-published findings are the result of survey that began in 2015.

Diver at sea cave Image copyright George Stoyle
Image caption St Kilda is a special area of conservation

Home to nearly one million seabirds, St Kilda is the UK's only dual Unesco World Heritage Site for both its natural and cultural significance.

The remote archipelago is situated about 40 miles west of the outer Hebrides.

All images are copyright Scottish Natural Heritage.

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