Larne Lough SPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

This is a sea lough on the east coast of Northern Ireland and is an area of importance as a breeding and feeding area for a number of tern species, as well as being a wintering site for the Canada/Ireland population of light-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 March 1997

Surface Area

3.96 km2 (1.53 mi.2)

Perimeter

63.84 km (39.67 mi.)

  • 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.

  • Light-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla hrota)

    A small dark goose with small wintering populations in the UK. it is vulnerable as the entire population depends on less than ten wintering sites.

  • Roseate tern (Sterna dougallii)

    One of our rarest seabirds with long tail streamers and a pinkish tinge to its underparts in summer - which gives it its name.

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

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 half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns

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

Join us today

Help protect our seas, shores and wildlife

Join now