Portsmouth Harbour SPA
This site is on the central south coast of England. It is a large, industrialised estuary, and includes one of the four largest expanses of mud-flats and tidal creeks on the south coast of Britain. The mud-flats support large beds of narrow-leaved eelgrass and dwarf eelgrass, extensive green algae beds, and sea lettuce. During winter the site is home to dark-bellied brent geese.
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 February 1995
Surface Area12.50 km2 (4.83 mi.2)
Perimeter52.04 km (32.34 mi.)
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.
Dunlin (Calidris alpina alpina)
The commonest small wading bird found around UK shores with a distinctive black belly in the summer.
Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa islandica)
A large wading bird with a very distinctive long beak.
Dark-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla bernicla)
A small dark goose which occurs in good numbers at just a few sites in the UK. They are vegetarian and particularly partial to seagrass.
Did you know?…
An area over 9 times the size of Wales is now in marine protected areas in the UK, but less than 1% is considered by MCS scientists to be well managed
Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns
To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’