SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Upper Solway Flats and Marshes

image: SPA location map 

 

 
The Upper Solway Flats and Marshes SPA lies on the west coast on the border between England and Scotland. The flats and marshes of the Upper Solway form one of the largest continuous areas of intertidal habitat in Britain. The geomorphology and vegetation of the estuarine saltmarshes or merses are of international importance, with broad transitions to mature 'upper-marsh' being particularly well represented. The whole estuarine complex is of importance for wintering wildfowl (ducks, geese and swans) and waders, and is a vital link in a chain of west coast UK estuaries used by migrating waterbirds. The SPA supports virtually all of the Svalbard population of Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis over the winter.
 
The site includes the subsumed SPA of Rockcliffe Marsh, which was subject to separate classification. 
For more information see Phased, extended and subsumed SPAs

Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
 
Over winter;
 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, 2,367 individuals representing at least 4.5% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis, 13,595 individuals representing at least 113.3% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, 6,121 individuals representing at least 2.4% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, 117 individuals representing at least 2.1% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
 

This site also qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:

 

On passage;
 
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, 729 individuals representing at least 1.5% of the Europe/Northern Africa - wintering population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Over winter;
 
Curlew Numenius arquata, 5,881 individuals representing at least 1.7% of the wintering Europe - breeding population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, 14,566 individuals representing at least 1.0% of the wintering Northern Siberia/Europe/Western Africa population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Knot Calidris canutus, 12,271 individuals representing at least 3.5% of the wintering Northeastern Canada/Greenland/Iceland/Northwestern Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, 34,694 individuals representing at least 3.9% of the wintering Europe & Northern/Western Africa population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus, 15,983 individuals representing at least 7.1% of the wintering Eastern Greenland/Iceland/UK population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Pintail Anas acuta, 2,253 individuals representing at least 3.8% of the wintering Northwestern Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Redshank Tringa totanus, 3,088 individuals representing at least 2.1% of the wintering Eastern Atlantic - wintering population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
 

 Assemblage qualification: A wetland of international importance.

 

The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 waterfowl
 
Over winter, the area regularly supports 133,222 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Redshank Tringa totanus, Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis, Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus, Pintail Anas acuta, Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, Knot Calidris canutus, Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, Curlew Numenius arquata, Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, Scaup Aythya marila, Goldeneye Bucephala clangula, Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina.

 


Note:

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
 
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.