Description of the Interest Features and their Current Condition

The site is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) classified by the EU in April 2005.

The site is notified for the following features:

  • Estuaries
  • Mudflats and sandflats not covered by water at low tide
  • River lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis)
  • Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)

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

The Tweed Estuary SAC is a long narrow estuary which is still largely natural and undisturbed. It supports a wide range of habitats compared with other estuaries in north-east England. At its mouth there are substantial sandbanks and some areas of rocky shore. Further upstream, large areas of estuarine boulders and cobbles overlie sediment flats and extend into subtidal areas of the channel. Sheltered estuarine mud and sandflats occur away from the fast-flowing river channel.

Fish species present within the estuary include River lamprey Lampetra fluviatillis and sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus. These can be found in the spring when adults pass through the estuary to spawn in silt and sand beds in the river upstream.

The condition of the MPA has yet to be assessed by Natural England. Condition assessments of the underlying SSSI units can be found here

Map of Interest Features

Mapping of priority habitats from within the SAC can be viewed on the MAGIC website. Mapping of the lamprey interest features is not available.

Sensitivities of Interest Features

The summary given below is provided for informal guidance only. Please note that the published conservation advice and accompanying supplementary advice 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 potentially sensitive to any activities which might:

  • Reduce the extent, distribution, structure and/or morphology of estuarine habitats
  • Increases the opportunities for the introduction of invasive or non-native species into the estuary
  • Impact negatively on water quality in the estuary
  • Reduce unrestricted use of the estuary by lamprey species

A number of management measures are in place for this SAC. Further details can be found HERE

Overlap with other sites

This site partially overlaps with the following MPAs:

The following SSSIs overlap partially with this MPA