Carlingford Lough SPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

Carlingford Lough lies on the east coast of Northern Ireland and straddles the international border with the Irish Republic. It is a narrow sea lough surrounded by mountains. The mud-flats and saltmarsh found here provide important feeding areas for the wintering light-bellied brent geese of the Canada/Ireland population. At the mouth of the lough are several small rock and shingle islands which are of importance to breeding terns, which feed in the shallow waters of the lough. 

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 1998

Surface Area

8.30 km2 (3.21 mi.2)

Perimeter

80.33 km (49.92 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.

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

Did you know?…

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

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’