Map of Interest Features

No map showing the location of interest features of the SPA is currently available. Mapping of priority habitats from within the SPA is available at the MAGIC website

Description of the Interest Features and their Current Condition

The site is a Special Protection Area (SPA) classified by the EU in  February 2000. On 29 January 2017 the site was amended to include arctic tern.

The site is notified for the following features:

  • Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), Breeding
  • Little tern (Sternula albifrons), Breeding
  • Purple sandpiper (Calidris maritima), non-breeding
  • Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), non-breeding

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

The Northumbria Coast SPA includes much of the coastline between the Tees and Tweed Estuaries [NB: the site extends south of the River Tyne and outside of the area covered by the Berwickshire and Northumberland Marine Nature Partnership] and consists of mainly discrete sections of rocky shore with associated boulder and cobble beaches. It  also includes parts of artificial pier structures and a small section of sandy beach. In summer, the site supports an internationally important population of breeding little tern Sterna albifrons and Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea, and two species of wintering waders occur in internationally important numbers, turnstone Arenaria interpres and purple sandpiper Calidris maritima.

Purple sandpiper are almost entirely restricted to the rocky shore where they feed on a variety of marine invertebrates. Turnstone feed on seaweed covered rocks congregating at high tide to roost on the mainland shore or continue to feed on the washed up seaweed on the strandline. Man-made structures such as the Blyth east pier are used as high tide roosts.

Arctic and little terns in the Northumbria Coast SPA nest at Newton Links/Long Nanny. The Long Nanny tern site is situated at the mouth of the Long Nanny burn, in Beadnell Bay.

The condition of the MPA has yet to be assessed by Natural England. The condition of underlying SSSI units can be viewed HERE

Sensitivities of Interest Features

The summary given below is provided for informal guidance only. Please note that the conservation 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 Arctic tern or Little tern
  • Negatively affects the availability and/or quality of breeding habitat for Arctic tern or Little tern
  • Increases disturbance to Arctic tern or Little tern while nesting, roosting, foraging, feeding, moulting or loafing
  • Negatively affects the safe passage for Arctic tern or Little tern between nesting and feeding sites
  • Increases disturbance to Turnstone or Purple sandpiper while roosting, foraging, feeding, or loafing
  • Negatively affects the safe passage for Turnstone or Purple sandpiper between roosting and feeding sites
  • Negatively affects food availability for the species for which the site is designated
  • 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