Carlingford Lough

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.

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


54° 3' 15" North,
6° 6' 40" West

Surface Area

8.30 km2
(3.21 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


  • Common tern (Sterna hirundo) (Annex I (species))
  • Sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis) (Annex I (species))
  • Light-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla hrota [Canada/Ireland]) (Regularly occurring migratory species)