Portsmouth Harbour

Site overview: 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.

Designation Status
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


50° 49' 42" North,
1° 7' 25" West

Surface Area

12.50 km2
(4.83 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site


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


  • Red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Dunlin (Calidris alpina alpina) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa islandica) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Dark-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla bernicla) (Regularly occurring migratory species)