Coquet Island SPA

Status: Designated


Site overview

Coquet Island Special Protection Area (SPA) is a type of Marine Protected Area. There is another protected area in this region known as Coquet to St Mary’s. Coquet Island is located 1 km off the coast of Northumberland in north-east England. The island is of importance for a range of breeding seabirds, including four species of tern, auks and gulls. The seabirds feed outside the SPA in the nearby waters, as well as more distantly in the North Sea. During the breeding season 11,400 pairs of puffins can be found here. 

MPA Type

Special 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 date

1 July 1985

Surface Area

0.20 km2 (0.08 mi.2)


3.80 km (2.36 mi.)

  • Seabird assemblage (Seabird assemblage)

    Important areas where a number of seabird species occur in significant numbers.

  • Common tern (Sterna hirundo)

    A silvery-grey and white bird sometimes called a ‘sea swallow’ because of it’s long tail.

  • Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea)

    A bird with one of the longest migrations of any bird species. They often travel between the Arctic and Antarctic each year. They breed in coastal colonies, and feed mostly on small fish which they pick from the top few centimetres of the water column.

  • Sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis)

    One of Scotland’s four regularly breeding tern species.

  • 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.

  • Marine areas, Sea inlets

Did you know?…

Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers

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

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’