Outer Ards

Site overview: This site extends from Grey Point on the north Down coast, to Ballyquintin Point in the south. It includes sand and mud dominated shores, cobble and boulder beaches together with rocky shores. This area is home to nationally important populations of Arctic tern and golden plover, together with the wintering populations of light-bellied brent goose, golden plover, turnstone and ringed plover.

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° 32' 30" North,
5° 31' 2" West

Surface Area

14.09 km2
(5.44 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site


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


  • Ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) (Annex I (species))
  • Light-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla hrota [Canada/Ireland]) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • European golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria) (Annex I (species))