SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Coquet Island

image: SPA location map 

 

Coquet Island is located 1 km off the coast of Northumberland in north-east England. It is a small, flat-topped island with a plateau extent of c. 7 ha. The island is surrounded by low sandstone cliffs and a broad rock platform at low tide, partly the result of former stone quarrying. The peaty soil of the plateau supports short turf grassland, although where nutrient input from seabird colonies is greatest, there are dense stands of taller species, including nettles Urtica spp. These provide cover for some of the nesting terns. The island is of importance for a range of breeding seabirds, including four species of terns, auks and gulls. The seabirds feed outside the SPA in the nearby waters, as well as more distantly in the North Sea. 

 


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:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, 700 pairs representing at least 1.6% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Four count mean, 1993 & 1995-1997)
 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo, 740 pairs representing at least 6.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1993-1997)
 
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, 31 pairs representing at least 51.7% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1993-1997)
 
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis, 1,590 pairs representing at least 11.4% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1993-1997)
 
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:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Puffin Fratercula arctica, 11,400 pairs representing at least 1.3% of the breeding population (1995)
 
Assemblage qualification: A seabird assemblage of international importance
 
The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 seabirds
 
During the breeding season, the area regularly supports 33,448 individual seabirds including: Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus, Puffin Fratercula arctica, Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, Common Tern Sterna hirundo, Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis.

 


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.