SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Mersey Narrows and North Wirral Foreshore

image: SPA location map 


The Mersey Narrows and North Wirral Foreshore SPA is located on the north-west coast of England at the mouths of the Mersey and Dee estuaries. The site comprises intertidal habitats at Egremont foreshore, man-made lagoons at Seaforth Nature Reserve and the extensive intertidal flats at North Wirral Foreshore. Egremont is most important as a feeding habitat for waders at low tide whilst Seaforth is primarily a high-tide roost site, as well as a nesting site for terns. North Wirral Foreshore supports large numbers of feeding waders at low tide and also includes important high-tide roost sites. The most notable feature of the site is the exceptionally high density of wintering Turnstone Arenaria interpres. Mersey Narrows and North Wirral Foreshore has clear links in terms of bird movements with the nearby Dee Estuary SPA, Ribble and Alt Estuaries SPA, and (to a lesser extent) Mersey Estuary SPA. 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section

This site qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
Over winter;
Redshank Tringa totanus, 1,981 individuals representing at least 1.3% of the wintering Eastern Atlantic - wintering population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
Turnstone Arenaria interpres, 1,138 individuals representing at least 1.6% of the wintering Western Palearctic - 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 20,269 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, Knot Calidris canutus, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Turnstone Arenaria interpres, Redshank Tringa totanus



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.