Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay SPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

This site is on the south coast of England, on the border of East Sussex and Kent between Hastings and New Romney. It is made up of large shingle beaches and sand dunes across an area of intertidal mud and sand flats. The whole area is important for breeding and wintering waterbirds, birds of prey, and breeding seabirds.

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 August 1999

Surface Area

51.28 km2 (19.80 mi.2)

Perimeter

185.08 km (115.00 mi.)

Coordinates (central point)

50° 56' 20" North, 0° 50' 37" East

  • 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.

  • Waterfowl assemblage

    Important areas where a number of waterfowl 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.

  • Sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis)

    One of Scotland’s four regularly breeding tern species.

  • Pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

    A distinctively-patterned black and white wading bird with a long up-curved beak. 

  • 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

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

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