SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Mersey Estuary

image: SPA location map 

 

The Mersey Estuary is located on the Irish Sea coast of north-west England. It is a large, sheltered estuary which comprises large areas of saltmarsh and extensive intertidal sand- and mud-flats, with limited areas of brackish marsh, rocky shoreline and boulder clay cliffs, within a rural and industrial environment. The intertidal flats and saltmarshes provide feeding and roosting sites for large populations of waterbirds. During the winter, the site is of major importance for ducks and waders. The site is also important during the spring and autumn migration periods, particularly for wader populations moving along the west coast of Britain. 

 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


 

This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
 
Over winter;
 
Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, 3,070 individuals representing at least 1.2% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 

This site also qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:

 

On passage;
 
Redshank Tringa totanus, 3,516 individuals representing at least 2.0% of the Eastern Atlantic - wintering population (5 year peak mean, 1987-1991)
 
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, 1,453 individuals representing at least 2.9% of the Europe/Northern Africa - wintering population (Count, as at 1989)
 
Over winter;
 
Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, 44,300 individuals representing at least 3.2% of the wintering Northern Siberia/Europe/Western Africa population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Pintail Anas acuta, 2,744 individuals representing at least 4.6% of the wintering Northwestern Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Redshank Tringa totanus, 4,689 individuals representing at least 3.1% of the wintering Eastern Atlantic - wintering population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, 5,039 individuals representing at least 1.7% of the wintering Northwestern Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Teal Anas crecca, 11,667 individuals representing at least 2.9% of the wintering Northwestern Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Assemblage qualification: A wetland of international importance.
 
The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 waterfowl
 
Over winter, the area regularly supports 99,467 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Curlew Numenius arquata, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa islandica, Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, Wigeon Anas penelope, Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, Redshank Tringa totanus, Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, Pintail Anas acuta, Teal Anas crecca, Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria.

 


Note:

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
 
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.