SPAs with marine components

 

A network of terrestrial SPAs has already been established in the UK, and some of these existing SPAs have marine components. More information is on our overview page.

SPAs with marine components are defined as those sites with qualifying Birds Directive Annex I species or regularly occurring migratory species that are dependent on the marine environment for all or part of their lifecycle, where these species are found in association with intertidal or subtidal habitats. In this context 119 bird species make significant use of the marine environment around the UK (and Gibraltar).

The SPA site selection process has so far been used to designate 102 SPAs with marine components in the UK. Four of these sites are entirely marine SPAs:

  • Bae Caerfyrddin/Carmarthen Bay SPA (Wales)
  • Outer Thames Estuary SPA (England)
  • Liverpool Bay/Bae Lerpwl SPA (England/Wales)
  • Belfast Lough - Open Water SPA (Northern Ireland)

 

Downloads:

Marine interest features of SPAs with marine components

GIS boundary data for SPAs with marine components

 

Seabird colony SPAs

Some coastal SPAs contain qualifying Birds Directive Annex I species or regularly occurring migratory species that are dependent on the marine environment. However, where coastal SPAs do not include significant intertidal or subtidal areas, they are not considered to be ‘SPAs with marine components’.

Many seabird colony SPAs have been extended seawards to encompass marine areas: 31 in Scotland, three in Wales, and one in Northern Ireland. See marine extensions to existing seabird breeding colony SPAs for more details.

 

Marine SPAs

Work is ongoing to designate further SPAs in the marine environment across the UK, with many expected to go to consultation during 2016.