This site is situated in north-east England off the Northumberland coast near Berwick-upon-Tweed. As well as the island of Lindisfarne (Holy Island), the site includes extensive mud-flats south of Holy Island and at Budle Bay. There are large beds of Eelgrass here which provide an important food source for wintering birds. In autumn and early winter this site is home to a large number of an internationally important population of the Svalbard population of light-bellied brent goose. In summer, the site supports large numbers of several breeding tern species that feed in the shallow waters around the site.
MPA TypeSpecial Protection Area
Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites designated uner European legislation. They are established to protect rare and vulnerable birds and for regularly occurring migratory species.
Designation date1 March 1992
Surface Area36.74 km2 (14.18 mi.2)
Perimeter74.89 km (46.53 mi.)
Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
A small, dumpy, short-legged wading bird that breed on beaches around the coast.
Sanderling (Calidris alba)
A a small, plump, energetic wading bird.
Little tern (Sterna albifrons)
This bird is one of the smallest of its species. Breeding colonies are located on beaches nearby shallow, sheltered waters which offer good foraging for small fish and invertebrates.
Eurasian wigeon (Anas penelope)
Sites in the UK are an important wintering ground for these small ducks.
Greylag goose (Anser anser )
The largest of the wild gesse in the UK, the greylag is the ancestor of most domestic geese. The native birds and wintering flocks found in Scotland retain the special appeal of truly wild geese.
Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica)
A long-billed, long-legged wading bird that visits the UK in the winter.
Red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator)
A diving duck often seen in large groups during the non-breeding season. It feeds on small fish along with small amounts of vegetation and other tiny water animals.
Common redshank (Tringa totanus)
As this bird’s name suggests, its’ most distinctive features are its’ bright orange-red legs.
Dunlin (Calidris alpina alpina)
The commonest small wading bird found around UK shores with a distinctive black belly in the summer.
Long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis)
Long-tailed duck is a gregarious seaduck that forms large non-breeding flocks. Long-tailed duck dives to the seabed to forage on a range of prey including benthic molluscs, crustaceans, and small fish.
Black (common) scoter (Melanitta nigra)
The common scoter is seaduck. The UK breeding population of this small diving seaduck has substantially declined and it is now a Red List species.
Grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
A widely distributed shorebird that prefers sandy and muddy estuaries.
Common eider (Somateria mollissima)
A record-breaking seaduck - the eider is both our heaviest and fastest flying. It seldom strays from the coast.
Common shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
This is a big, colourful duck, bigger than a mallard but smaller than a goose.
Roseate tern (Sterna dougallii)
One of our rarest seabirds with long tail streamers and a pinkish tinge to its underparts in summer - which gives it its name.
Light-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla hrota)
A small dark goose with small wintering populations in the UK. it is vulnerable as the entire population depends on less than ten wintering sites.
Did you know?…
Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns
Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’
Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas