Ribble and Alt Estuaries


Site overview: This site lies on the coast of Lancashire and Merseyside in north-west England. It is made up of two estuaries, of which the Ribble Estuary is by far the larger, together with an extensive area of sandy foreshore along the Sefton Coast. This site is part of the chain of western Special Protection Areas (a type of Marine Protected Area) that fringe the Irish Sea. It is a hugely important area for birds, in fact over winter this area supports more than 301,000 waterfowl. During winter swans, geese, ducks and waders flock here. A large proportion of this site is within the Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve.


Designation Status
Designated
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Special Protection Area
MPA Purpose
areas of the most important habitat for rare (listed on Annex I to the Directive) and migratory birds within the European Union


Coordinates

53° 40' 37" North,
3° 0' 33" West

Surface Area

124.58 km2
(48.10 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site

Habitat

  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins)
  • Salt marshes, Salt pastures, Salt steppes

Assemblage

  • Seabird assemblage

Species

  • Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Sanderling (Calidris alba) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Eurasian wigeon (Anas penelope) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) (Annex I (species))

Assemblage

  • Waterfowl assemblage

Species

  • Common tern (Sterna hirundo) (Annex I (species))
  • Common redshank (Tringa totanus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Red knot (Calidris canutus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Dunlin (Calidris alpina alpina) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa islandica) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Black (common) scoter (Melanitta nigra) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Common shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Greater scaup (Aythya marila) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Northern pintail (Anas acuta) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Eurasian teal (Anas crecca) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) (Annex I (species))