Grassholm SPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

This is a small island about 18 km west of the mainland coast of south-west Wales which is home to large numbers of breeding seabirds. Grassholm often appears white in colour. This is due to the colour of the gannets that live there and their guano! This is an important place for gannets which breed here.

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 January 1986

Surface Area

17.43 km2 (6.73 mi.2)

Perimeter

15.20 km (9.45 mi.)

  • Northern gannet (Morus bassanus)

    Adult gannets are large and bright white seabirds with black wingtips. They feed by flying high and circling before plunging into the sea. They breed in significant numbers at only a few localities.

  • Seabird assemblage (Seabird assemblage)

    Important areas where a number of seabird species occur in significant numbers.

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

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

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