Lough Foyle

Site overview: This site lies on the north-west coast of Northern Ireland and straddles the international border with the Irish Republic. The site comprises a large, shallow sea lough that includes the estuaries of the rivers Foyle, Faughan and Roe. The site is made up of mudflats, sand-flats, salt-marshes and associated brackish ditches. This is an important area for waterbirds during the spring and autumn migration periods, and in winter. These include swans, geese, ducks and waders. The lough is especially notable in supporting a high proportion of the international population of Canada/Ireland light-bellied brent goose.

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


55° 5' 58" North,
7° 2' 19" West

Surface Area

22.04 km2
(8.51 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


  • Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) (Annex I (species))


  • Waterfowl assemblage


  • Light-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla hrota [Canada/Ireland]) (Regularly occurring migratory species)