Pagham Harbour SPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

This site is on the south coast of England in West Sussex. It is made up of areas of saltmarsh and intertidal mud-flats, surrounded by lagoons and shingle.  This is an important feeding area for birds, such as the little tern in summer, as well as ruffs in Winter. 

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 March 1988

Surface Area

6.29 km2 (2.43 mi.2)

Perimeter

35.43 km (22.02 mi.)

  • 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.

  • Common tern (Sterna hirundo)

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

  • Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

    A medium sized wading bird that breeds in a very few lowland sites in eastern England where its numbers appear to be dropping. Males develop a very impressive ruff in the summer.

  • 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.

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

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’

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