Description of the Interest Features and their Current Condition

The site is a Special Protection Area (SPA) classified by the EU in January 2017

The site is notified for the following features:

  • Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), Breeding
  • Common tern (Sterna hirundo), Breeding
  • Guillemot (Uria aalge), Breeding
  • Little tern (Sternula albifrons), Breeding
  • Puffin (Fratercula arctica), Breeding
  • Roseate tern (Sterna dougallii), Breeding
  • Sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis), Breeding
  • Seabird assemblage, Breeding

Further details of these interest features can be found in the Conservation Advice for the site

The site is designated to protect the internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds which occur on the Northumberland coast and the offshore areas which these birds use for feeding. The areas is important for seven named species of seabird (arctic tern, common tern, little tern, sandwich tern, roseate tern, guillemot and puffin) and for the overall breeding assemblage of over 20,000 individual seabirds which the site supports. The main components of the seabird assemblage includes the seven qualifying species listed above plus great cormorant, European shag, black-headed gull and black-legged kittiwake.

The condition of the MPA has yet to be assessed by Natural England. Condition assessments of underlying SSSI units can be viewed at the Designated Sites View website

To coincide with the designation of the site, Natural England produced this short explanatory video:

Map of Interest Features

No mapping of SPA features is available for the site. Mapping of priority habitats within the SPA can be viewed on the MAGIC website

Sensitivities of Interest Features

The summary given below is provided for informal guidance only. Please note that the advice package and accompanying supplementary guidance on the conservation objectives produced by Natural England for the site should be referred as the definitive and official source of information about site pressures and sensitivities when making decisions about management activities or preparing Habitats Regulations Assessments.

This site is likely to be sensitive to any activities which may:

  • Negatively affects breeding populations of the seabirds for which the site is designated
  • Negatively affects the availability and/or quality of breeding habitat for seabirds
  • Negatively affects the safe passage for seabirds between nesting and feeding sites
  • Increases disturbance to seabirds while nesting, roosting, foraging, loafing, moulting or feeding
  • Negatively affects the amount or quality of food available to feeding seabirds
  • Negatively affects water quality (including turbidity, nutrient status, contaminants and dissolved oxygen)

Overlap with other sites

This site partially overlaps with the following MPAs:

The following SSSIs overlap partially with this MPA