SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Hornsea Mere

image: SPA location map 


Hornsea Mere is the largest freshwater lake in Yorkshire, situated less than 1 km from the sea on the East Yorkshire coast in northern England. It is of glacial origin, shallow (1-2m deep), eutrophic and fringed with reedbeds, fen and carr. Its shallowness has encouraged the development of extensive marginal swamps of Common Reed Phragmites australis, Bulrush Typha latifolia and Common Club-rush Schoenoplectus lacustris. These are best developed at the west end of the mere, where they grade into Alder Alnus glutinosa and willow Salix spp. carr. There are also fen communities, rich in plant species, as well as aquatic plants of open water such as Canadian Waterweed Elodea canadensis, Fennel Pondweed Potamogeton pectinatus, Spiked Water-milfoil Myriophyllum spicatum, Rigid Hornwort Ceratophyllum demersum and Yellow Water-lily Nuphar lutea. Dense algal blooms occur in summer as a result of eutrophication. The reedbeds, swamp communities and wet woodland support a diverse invertebrate fauna. Hornsea Mere supports breeding and wintering waterbirds, which feed on the open water and use the marginal vegetation for feeding and roosting. 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


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


Over winter;
Gadwall Anas strepera, 300 individuals representing at least 1.0% of the wintering Northwestern Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)



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.