Portsmouth Harbour SPA

Status: Designated

Description

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.

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 February 1995

Surface Area

12.50 km2 (4.83 mi.2)

Perimeter

52.04 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.

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

Did you know?…

Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

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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

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