The Annotated Ramsar List: United Kingdom

29/01/2013

The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

UNITED KINGDOM / ROYAUME-UNI / REINO UNIDO

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for the United Kingdom on 5 May 1976. The United Kingdom presently has 170 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 1,278,930 hectares.

[Government policy for England, Wales]

(Abbreviation for UK sites: SSSI = Site of Special Scientific Interest)

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Abberton Reservoir. 24/07/81; England; 726 ha; 51º49’N 000º52’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI, Statutory Bird Sanctuary. A large storage reservoir with three separate basins, located near the coast. Numerous species of molting, passage, wintering and feeding waterbirds use the site in nationally and internationally important numbers. Up to 39,000 waterbirds winter at the site. Also supported is the UK’s only tree-nesting colony of Phalacrocorax carbo (360 pairs). Ramsar site no. 220. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Alde-Ore Estuary. 04/10/96; England; 2,547 ha; 52º05’N 001º33’E. Special Protection Area, SSSI. An estuary complex of three rivers comprising various habitats including intertidal mudflats, saltmarsh, a vegetated shingle spit, saline lagoons, and semi-intensified grazing marsh. The site supports nationally scarce plants and invertebrates and notable assemblages of breeding and wintering wetland birds. Human activities include recreation, fishing, livestock grazing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 862. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Arun Valley. 16/12/99; England; 529 ha; 50º55’N 000º31’W. SSSI. Consists of three SSSIs in an area of wet meadows on the floodplain of the River Arun between Pulborough and Amberley, subject to occasional flooding, dissected by a network of ditches, several of which support rich aquatic flora and invertebrate fauna. The site is of outstanding ornithological importance for wintering waterfowl and breeding waders. It supports seven wetland invertebrate species that are listed as threatened in Britain, one of which is endangered, and there are four nationally rare and four nationally scarce plant species. Much of the site is currently under appropriate management through organizations such as the Sussex Wildlife Trust and the RSPB, but influencing private landowners on management issues will continue to be important. Recreational activities include birdwatching and walking, and a visitor’s center, bird hides, and a tea shop are present. Ramsar site no. 1011. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Avon Valley. 02/02/98; England; 1,385 ha; 50º47’N 001º48’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. The site shows a greater range of habitats than any other chalk river in Britain, including fen, mire, lowland wet grassland, and small areas of woodland. The area classified as inland and human-made wetland. It supports a diverse assemblage of wetland flora and fauna including several nationally rare species. Over the winter it supports Anas strepera (667 individuals, representing 2.2% of the population). Human activities include recreation, fishing, permanent pastoral agriculture, and grazing. Ramsar site no. 926. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Ballynahone Bog. 31/12/98; Northern Ireland; 243 ha; 54º49’N 006º40’W. National Nature Reserve, SSSI. The site comprises peatlands including peat bogs, swamps, fens, and birch woodland. The bog vegetation is characterized by Sphagnum mosses amd periodic dwarf-shrubs such as Erica tetralix and Calluna vulgaris. The peatland species occurring on the site include a number of scarce species typical of lowland raised bogs such as the bog-rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) and invertebrates such as the large heath butterfly (Coenonympha tullia). Human activities include nature conservation, rough and shifting grazing, and mineral exploitation. Ramsar site no. 967. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Belfast Lough. 05/08/98; Northern Ireland; 432 ha; 54º38’N 005º54’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. The inner part of the lough comprises areas of intertidal foreshore composed of mudflats and lagoons, and land, both reclaimed and being reclaimed, which form important feeding/roosting sites for significant numbers of wintering waders and wildfowl. The outer lough is restricted to mainly rocky shores with some small sandy bays and beach-head saltmarsh. It regularly supports internationally important numbers of Redshank (Tringa totanus) in winter. Human activities include tourism, recreation, and fishing. Ramsar site no. 958. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Benfleet & Southend Marshes. 14/02/94; England; 2,251 ha; 51º32’N 000º41’E. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area, SSSI. The site comprises an extensive series of saltmarshes, mudflats, and grassland supporting a diverse flora and fauna. Internationally important numbers of several species of wintering waterbirds occur at the site. Human activities include tourism, recreation, research, fishing, shellfish and bait collection, livestock grazing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 648. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Black Bog. 28/07/00; Northern Ireland; 183 ha; 54º40’N 007º01’W. Area of Special Scientific Interest. A large lowland raised bog, exhibiting the full range of characteristic vegetation, and one of the two largest intact active bogs in Northern Ireland with hummock and hollow pool complexes, one of the best examples of this habitat type in the UK. Past drainage works for peat extraction have affected part of the site, but remedial steps have been taken and further restoration will be carried out if required. A management plan is in place and regular monitoring is carried out. Ramsar site no. 1032. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Blackwater Estuary. 11/03/92; England; 4,395 ha; 51º45’N 000º52’E. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. The site, one of the largest estuarine complexes in East Anglia, consists of intertidal mudflats fringed by saltmarsh, shingle and shell banks, and offshore islands. Surrounding terrestrial habitats include a sea wall, grassland, ancient grazing marsh and associated fleet and ditch system. This rich mosaic of habitats supports an outstanding assemblage of nationally scarce plants and a nationally important assemblage of rare invertebrates. Internationally and nationally important numbers of waterbirds winter at the site. Human activities include marine aquaculture, tourism, commercial and sport fishing, shellfish and bait collection. Extended on 12/05/95 from the former Ramsar Site known as Old Hall Marshes. Ramsar site no. 543. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Breydon Water. 29/03/96; England; 1203 ha; 52º35’N 001º37’E. Special Area for Conservation, Special Protection Area, SSSI. An inland tidal estuary with extensive areas of mudflats exposed at low tide. The site is internationally important for wintering waterbirds, notably Bewick’s Swan, Cygnus columbianus bewickii, and it supports important numbers of passage birds. Human activities include recreation, hunting, and agriculture. Extended in March 2000 from 515 to 1203 ha. Ramsar site no. 821. Most recent RIS information: 2000.

Bridgend Flats, Islay. 14/07/88; Scotland; 331 ha; 55º46’N 006º16’W. Added to the Montreux Record, 4 July 1990, removed from the Record, 9 November 1991. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. An area of sand and mudflats backed by saltmarsh. An important feature of the site is the well-developed transition from upper saltmarsh to freshwater marsh and fen, which exhibits a high botanical diversity. Internationally important numbers (up to 14,000 birds) of geese from the Greenland breeding population roost at the site. Ramsar site no. 403. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Broadland. 05/01/76; England; 4,623 ha; 52º44’N 001º36’E. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area, SSSI. A low-lying wetland complex composed of the Bure, Yare, Thurne, and Waveney river systems of the Norfolk Broads. The mosaic of wetland habitats includes open water, reedbeds, carr woodland, grazing marsh, and fen meadow, with an extensive complex of flooded medieval peat diggings. Outstanding assemblages of rare plants and invertebrates occur at the site -- amongst a rich insect fauna are nationally rare dragonflies, spiders, moths, and butterflies, and the area is a stronghold for the butterfly Papilio machaon brittanica as well as a number of nationally rare breeding birds, including Botaurus stellaris and Circus aeruginosus.Several species of waterbirds winter there and include internationally important numbers of Bewick’s swan, Cygnus columbianus bewickii. The region is important for recreation, tourism, agriculture, and wildlife, and there is a large conservation education centre. Extended on 21/09/94 from the former Ramsar Sites known as Bure Marshes and Hickling Broad & Horsey Mere. Ramsar site no. 68. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Burry Inlet. 14/07/92; Wales; 6,672 ha; 51º39’N 004º11’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve, SSSI, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coast. An estuarine complex with extensive areas of intertidal sand and mudflats. The site includes the largest continuous area of saltmarsh in Wales and major dune systems at the estuary mouth. Nationally and internationally important numbers of several species of wintering waterbirds are supported, with numbers reaching 42,563 individuals. Ramsar site no. 562. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Cairngorm Lochs. 24/07/81; Scotland; 173 ha; 57º04’N 003º47’W. Nature Reserve, SSSI, Scenic Area. A composite site of five separate arctic and alpine freshwater lakes comprising a large part of Britain’s most important mountain area. At over 1,000 m. in altitude, the lakes are of considerable limnological value and support highly specialized populations of zooplankton and phytoplankton that develop below the winter ice-cover. Flora and fauna are generally impoverished due to environmental conditions. At the heart of the Scottish skiing industry, it is a popular destination for climbers and walkers. Ramsar site no. 216. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Caithness & Sutherland Peatlands. 02/02/99; Scotland; 143,503 ha; 58º20’N 003º56’W. The site forms one of the largest and most intact areas of blanket bog in the world, including an exceptionally wide range of vegetation and surface pattern types, some of which are unknown elsewhere. It supports a diverse range of breeding waterfowl, including internationally important populations of Dunlin (Calidris alpina schinzii) and nationally important populations of ten other waterfowl species. Human activities include nature conservation, tourism, fishing, grazing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 971. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Caithness Lochs. 02/02/98; Scotland; 1,379 ha; 58º29’N 003º20’W. Special Area for Conservation, SSSI. A suite of six lochs and a mire in the extreme north of mainland Scotland. The lochs cover a range of types from oligotrophic to eutrophic and support a wide diversity of aquatic and wetland vegetation including submerged and floating aquatic communities and species rich marginal, fen and swamp communities. In winter these lochs support internationally important wintering populations of whooper swan (Icelandic), Greenland white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons flavirostris, 420 individuals, representing 1.4% of the population),and greylag goose (Icelandic). Human activities include fishing, permanent pastoral agriculture, and hunting. Site significantly expanded in 2000. Ramsar site no. 928. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Cameron Reservoir. 14/03/94; Scotland; 69 ha; 56º18’N 002º51’W. Special Protection Area, SSSI. An artificial loch with beds of aquatic and marginal vegetation. The open water is used as a roost by an internationally important wintering population of pink-footed geese, Anser brachyrhynchus, that feed on the surrounding farmland. The site serves as a domestic water supply. Human activities include recreation hunting and fishing. Ramsar site no. 650. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Carlingford Lough. 09/03/98; Northern Ireland; 831 ha; 54º03’N 006º07’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. The site includes mudflats, saltmarsh, small rocks, and shingle islands on the border with Ireland. It supports an important assemblage of vulnerable and endangered Irish Red Data Book bird species. It provides habitats for terns, including Sterna hirundo, S. dougallii, S. paradisaea. The site is used for recreation, fishing, marine aquaculture, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 936. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Castle Loch, Lochmaben. 15/03/96; Scotland; 108 ha; 55º07’N 003º26’W. SSSI. A freshwater loch with a range of habitats including emergent vegetation, birch and alder carr, areas of acidic, marshy grassland, and plantation woodland. The site regularly supports internationally important numbers of wintering Pink-footed Geese Anser brachyrhynchus and notable assemblages of breeding and wintering birds, as well as nationally scarce plants and uncommon invertebrates. Human activities include fishing, hunting, small-scale recreation, and commercial forestry. Ramsar site no. 796. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Chesil Beach & The Fleet. 17/07/85; England; 748 ha; 50º37’N 002º31’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coast. A shingle storm beach of international geomorphologic importance, and a shallow lagoon subject to strong tidal and salinity gradients supporting saltmarsh and reedbeds. The area is internationally important for wintering ducks, geese, and swans and nationally important for breeding birds. The Dorset coast is an important centre for tourism and recreation. The area is near a major port and the town of Weymouth. Ramsar site no. 300. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Chichester & Langstone Harbours. 28/10/87; England; 5,810 ha; 50º48’N 000º55’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Local Nature Reserve. Two large estuarine basins linked by a channel and including extensive intertidal mudflats, saltmarsh, sand and shingle spits, and dunes supporting reedbeds and some grassland. Numbers of wintering waterbirds regularly exceed 20,000 individuals and include internationally and nationally important numbers of several species. Human activities include recreation and dredging for oysters and clams. Ramsar site no. 378. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Chippenham Fen. 11/03/92; England; 112 ha; 52º18’N 000º25’E. Nature Reserve, SSSI. A spring-fed calcareous basin mire with a long history of management. The site is notable for its ecological diversity, from characteristic sedge fen to fen meadow, chalk grassland, Alnus/Salix carr and ancient woodland (Fraxinus, Quercus, Betula). More than 300 species of flowering plants have been recorded, including very rare, regionally rare or local species, as have several rare invertebrates (moths). A notable assemblage of breeding birds includes Gallinago gallinago, Scolopax rusticola, Luscinia megarhynchos, Acrocephalus spp., and Locustella naevia. Scrub is periodically removed and the fen meadows are mown. Ramsar site no. 544. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Claish Moss. 24/07/81; Scotland; 568 ha; 56º44’N 005º44’W. Nature Reserve, SSSI. One of Britain’s best examples of a patterned raised mire system. The area is noted for its high water quality and is divided into distinct units by various streams. 14 species of moss are supported, as well as scarce higher plants. The moss supports an interesting invertebrate fauna, including a nationally important assemblage of nine dragonfly species. Deer are culled annually to prevent overpopulation. Ramsar site no. 218. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Coll. 31/03/95; Scotland; 2,209 ha; 56º39’N 006º30’W. Special Protection Area, SSSI. The site supports substantial areas of maritime heath, blanket mire, and open water. The occurrence and botanical composition reflect the long interaction between landforms and low-intensity agriculture. The site supports internationally important numbers of geese, together with several nationally rare wetland plant species. Human activities include tourism, livestock grazing, hunting, and fishing. Ramsar site no. 723. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Colne Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 2). 28/07/94; England; 2,701 ha; 51º49’N 000º58’E. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area, SSSI. A short, branching estuary with five tidal arms flowing into the main river channel. The site includes an intertidal zone of mudflat communities. The estuary is of international importance for wintering Brent geese and Black-tailed Godwit and of national importance for breeding little terns and five other species of wintering waders and wildfowl. Various habitats include mudflats, saltmarsh, grazing marsh, reedbeds, sand and shingle spits, and unused gravel pits. The site supports outstanding assemblages of invertebrates and plants, several of which are nationally scarce. Human activities include nature conservation, tourism, recreation, research, and military activities. Ramsar site no. 665. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Cors Caron. 28/09/92; Wales; 874 ha; 52º16’N 003º55’W. Nature Reserve, SSSI. An extensive raised mire complex that developed over a former glacial lake and includes three distinct raised bog domes. The site provides a classic example of the developmental sequence from aquatic conditions, through floodplain fen, to a mire with a varied microtopography. The site supports an important butterfly population and is important for wintering birds, swans, and various raptors. Ramsar site no. 570. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Cors Fochno and Dyfi. 05/01/76; Wales; 2,508 ha; 52º32’N 004º00’W. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; Nature Reserve, SSSI. A bar-built estuarine complex, comprising the Dyfi estuary, two calcareous dune systems, and a large raised mire. The Dyfi is one of the best examples in north-west Europe of a small, drying, nutrient-poor estuary, which has been relatively unaffected by industrial development. A wide range of estuarine habitats are present, including rare transitions to peatland. Cors Fochno is of international importance being the type locality for estuarine raised mire and one of the largest active raised mires in the United Kingdom. The geomorphology, flora and invertebrate faunas are of national importance. The site supports the only regular wintering flock of Greenland white-fronted geese in England and Wales, and is a key site in Wales for breeding waders. The site supports significant tourist trade, recreational and educational usage. Ramsar site no. 66. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Corsydd Môn a Llyn (Anglesey & Llyn Fens). 02/02/98; Wales; 626 ha; 53º19’N 004º18’W. National Nature Reserve, SSSI. The inland wetland supports a suite of base-rich fens comprising of six component sites, supporting a range of associated floral and faunal rarities. Calcareous springs, predominantly from limestone aquifers, irrigate the fen and result in a distinctive vegetation. Human activities include nature conservation, tourism, grazing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 927. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Cromarty Firth. 22/07/99; Scotland; 3,747 ha; 57º41’N 004º12’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. The site supports the full range of estuarine habitats. Of particular importance are the extensive intertidal mudflats, which support sizeable beds of Zostera spp. The tidal flats are bordered locally by saltmarsh which grades into alluvial woodland at the mouth of the river Conon. It provides habitat for internationally important populations of Limosa lapponica and Anser anser. The site is used for nature conservation, tourism, and grazing. Ramsar site no. 1001. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Crouch & Roach Estuaries (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 3). 24/03/95; England; 1,736 ha; 51º38’N 000º40’E. Special Area for Conservation, Special Protection Area, SSSI. The site includes the tidal estuaries of the Crouch and Roach Rivers, an extensive and diverse saltmarsh, and a narrow strip of tidal mud. The Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Branta bernicla bernicla, occurs in internationally important numbers, and three other species of wader and wildfowl occur in nationally important numbers. The site supports a diversity of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates and an outstanding assemblage of nationally scarce plants. Human activities include recreation, agriculture, hunting, fishing, and marine aquaculture. Ramsar site no. 721. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Crymlyn Bog. 08/06/93; Wales; 268 ha; 51º38’N 003º53’W. Nature Reserve, SSSI. One of the largest valley floodplain mires in Wales, and amongst the most important in the United Kingdom, the site forms part of an extensive inter-estuarine complex. The site includes the adjacent Pant-y-Sais Fen and consists of a complex mosaic of vegetation types made up of communities characteristic of both nutrient-rich and nutrient-poor conditions. Notable plant communities include the semi-floating fen and the nationally rare cotton-grass Eriophorum gracile community. The area is notable for its rich invertebrate fauna, including many nationally rare or highly localized species associated with mires. Ramsar site no. 608. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Cuilcagh Mountain. 31/12/98; Northern Ireland; 2,744 ha; 54º13’N 007º48’W. The site is a large and relatively intact example of a blanket bog comprising an nutrient-poor lake and exhibiting a wide range of characteristic vegetation and structural features, with well-developed pool, acid flushes, and bog bursts. The bog vegetation is locally characterized by Sphagnum mosses but over most of the site dwarf-shrubs and graminoid species dominate. It supports Pluvialis apricaria and Falco columbarious. Human activities include grazing and nature conservation. Ramsar site no. 968. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Deben Estuary. 11/03/96; England; 979 ha; 52º03’N 001º21’E. Special Protection Area, SSSI. A sheltered estuary with areas of saltmarsh and intertidal mudflats displaying the most complete range of saltmarsh community types in Britain. The site supports nationally and internationally important flora and fauna. Important numbers of the Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Branta bernicla bernicla, winter at the site. Human activities include large-scale commercial fishing and small-scale recreation, hunting, and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 794. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Dengie (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 1). 24/03/94; England; 3,127 ha; 51º41’N 000º58’E. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area, SSSI. A remote area of tidal mudflats and saltmarsh between the Blackwater and Crouch Estuaries. The saltmarsh, the largest continuous example of its type in Essex, includes cockleshell spits and beaches and supports an outstanding assemblage of rare coastal flora. The site supports internationally and nationally important populations of wintering wildfowl and waders. In summer the range of breeding coastal birds includes rare species. Human activities include tourism, bait collecting, hunting, and fishing. Ramsar site no. 651. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Dersingham Bog. 12/09/95; England; 158 ha; 52º50’N 000º29’E. National Nature Reserve, SSSI. East Anglia’s largest remaining example of a pure acid valley mire grading into dry heathland. The site includes extensive bog, wet heath, and transition communities over peat, fed by groundwater springs and seepage. In addition to its internationally important plant communities, the site supports important assemblages of birds and numerous nationally important invertebrate species. Human activities include tourism, cutting of vegetation, and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 751. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Din Moss-Hoselaw Loch. 14/07/88; Scotland; 51 ha; 55º35’N 002º18’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. A small freshwater lake with associated fen and raised mire that provides a roosting site for internationally important numbers of wintering geese (2,008) from the Icelandic breeding population. Human activities include bird hunting on nearby lands. Ramsar site no. 405. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Dornoch Firth & Loch Fleet. 24/03/97; Scotland; 7,837 ha; 57º51’N 004º02’W. National Nature Reserve, SSSI, Special Protection Area EC Directive. The Dornoch Firth is a large complex estuary which has been relatively unaffected by industrial development, whilst Loch Fleet is an example of a shallow, bar-built estuary. Extensive sandflats and mudflats are backed by saltmarsh and sand dunes with transitions to alder Alnus glutinosa woodland. It supports nationally scarce aquatic plants and British Red Data Book invertebrates. Over the winter it provides habitat for Anser anser (1.1% of the population), Anas penelope (1.2% of the population), and Limosa lapponica (1.1% of the population). Human activities include tourism, forestry, fishing, grazing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 897. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Dorset Heathlands. 01/10/98; England. 6,730 ha; 50º39’N 002º09’W. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. This inland wetland contains numerous examples of wet heath (Erica ciliaris, E. tetralix) and acid valley mire, habitats that are restricted to the Atlantic fringe of Europe. These heath wetlands are amongst the best of their type in lowland Britain. The site supports a large assemblage of nationally rare and scarce wetland plant species and invertebrates (28 species). The area is used for nature conservation, tourism, recreation, rough or shifting grazing, mining, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 964. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Duddon Estuary. 16/03/98; England; 6,806 ha; 54º11’N 003º15’W. Special Area for Conservation, SSSI. The site includes marine and coastal wetlands with intertidal sand, mudflats, and saltmarsh. It supports more than 20,000 waterfowl including Caldiris canutus (1% of the population) and Anas acuta (2.1% of the population), and the rare natterjack toad Bufo Calamita. The site is used for nature conservation, tourism, recreation, fishing, grazing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 938. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

East Sanday Coast. 11/08/97; Scotland; 1,515 ha; 59º16’N 002º34’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. The site comprises inland, marine, and coastal wetlands. The coastline consists of rocky and sandy sections, sand dunes, machair habitats, intertidal flats, and saltmarsh. It supports greater than 20,000 waterfowl, including Calidris maritima and Arenaria interpres. Human activities include nature conservation and tourism within the site, and fishing, grazing, and mineral exploration in the vicinity. Ramsar site no. 917. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Eilean na Muice Duibhe (Duich Moss), Islay. 14/07/88; Scotland; 576 ha; 55º43’N 006º15’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. An area of low-level blanket mire bounded by two rivers, with scattered peaty pools and lochans. The mire vegetation is oceanic in character, with hummocks of different mosses and stands of Rhynchospora alba. Breeding birds include Gavia stellata, Circus cyaneus, Calidris alpina and Tringa totanus. The area forms a night-time roosting and feeding area for internationally important numbers of wintering geese of the Greenland breeding population. Human activities include drainage of surrounding areas and peat cutting. Ramsar site no. 402. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Esthwaite Water. 07/11/91; England; 137 ha; 54º22’N 002º59’W. National Park, National Nature Reserve, SSSI, Environmentally Sensitive Area. A freshwater lake situated in a formerly glaciated valley, includes open water, fen and grassland communities supporting plant and breeding bird species typical of such habitats. Amongst features of national importance are the rare plants Najas flexilis and Carex elongata, and several uncommon aquatic invertebrates, including the water flea, Alonella exigua. Ramsar site no. 536. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Exe Estuary. 11/03/92; England; 2,346 ha; 50º39’N 003º27’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI, Local Nature Reserve. The estuary includes shallow offshore waters, extensive mud and sand flats, saltmarsh, a complex of marshes and damp pasture, and an extensive dune system. The area is important for internationally important numbers of several species of wintering and passage waterbirds and functions as a refuge during severe weather. Ramsar site no. 542. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Fairy Water Bogs. 28/07/00; Northern Ireland; 224 ha; 54º38’N 007º28’W. Area of Special Scientific Interest, National Nature Reserve. Considered to be the most important concentration of lowland raised bogs in Northern Ireland, much of it relatively intact. Each of the three bogs included has a classic dome structure, and hummocks and hollows are also generally well-developed on all three, with significant pool complexes at two of them. Possible threats from effects of past peat-cutting, localized grazing, and fires have been addressed and are being monitored for. A management plan is in place. Ramsar site no. 1033. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Fala Flow. 25/04/90; Scotland; 318 ha; 55º49’N 002º54’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. Fala Flow is in the Lammermuir Hills to the south-east of Edinburgh. It is a blanket mire, with some pools, developed at a lower altitude than most blanket mires in Midlothian. The vegetation comprises heather Calluna vulgaris/cottongrass Eriophorum spp., with other characteristic species including cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea and Sphagnum bog-mosses. Such mires are scarce and declining in Midlothian and this example is relatively undisturbed. The mire and pools support an internationally important goose roost. Ramsar site no. 465. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Fardrum and Roosky Turloughs. 10/06/02; Northern Ireland; 43 ha; 54°24'N 007°43'W. ASSI. Three "turloughs" in a group, the only ones in Northern Ireland and the most northerly occurrence of this lake type in Ireland and the UK - intermittent lakes and pools in a limestone basin, wherein inflowing water rises through the limestone with changes in groundwater levels and flows out again via sinks, which can be clearly seen during dry periods. The turloughs all exhibit distinctive vegetation communities associated with the inundation zone, including some rare species. Permanently wet basins within the turloughs support vegetation typical of lakes and lake shores. The area is particularly rich in types of water beetles. Over-grazing by domestic livestock, vegetation succession, and eutrophication are perceived as potential threats. Ramsar site no. 1177. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Firth of Forth. 30/10/01; Scotland; 6,314 ha; 56°01’N 002°53’W. SSSI, SPA. A large coastal area comprising a complex of estuaries, mudflats, rocky shorelines, beaches and saltmarshes, including many fragmentary bits of shoreline considered to act as a single ecological unit. Several large urban areas, including Edinburgh, are adjacent to the site and include areas of heavy industry and well-used maritime shipping lanes. The site provides habitat for large numbers of wintering waders and wildfowl, many in nationally and internationally important numbers, and a number of aesthetic, archaeological, sporting and recreational interests lend added value. Coastal industrial development is seen as a source of pressure but is subject to detailed planning control, and the potential for rising sea levels are foreseen in "planned retreat" coastal realignment schemes. Ramsar site no. 1111. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary. 28/07/00; Scotland; 6,918 ha; 56º24’N 003º05’W. Special Protection Area, SSSI, National Nature Reserve. A complex of estuarine and coastal habitats in eastern Scotland adjacent to the city of Dundee. The site includes extensive invertebrate-rich intertidal mudflats and sandflats created by the massive sediment load deposited by the River Tay, as well as large areas of reedbed and sand dune and a small amount of saltmarsh. At least four species of wintering waterfowl are present above the 1% threshold of international importance, and on average some 48,000 waterfowl are supported there in winter, including 14 species in nationally important numbers. Some disturbance is caused in some parts of the site by large numbers of walkers and illegal use of all-terrain bicycles, but these and other potential threats are considered manageable. Students from many nearby universities conduct research on the site. Ramsar site no. 1034. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Foulness (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 5). 04/10/96; England; 10,933 ha; 51º34’N 000º55’E. Special Protection Area, SSSI. Part of an open coast estuarine system comprising grazing marsh, saltmarsh, intertidal mud and sandflats. The site supports nationally rare plants, as well as nationally and internationally important populations of various species of breeding, migratory and wintering waterbirds. Human activities include commercial fishing, agriculture, some livestock grazing, and military activities. Ramsar site no. 861. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Garron Plateau. 31/12/98; Northern Ireland; 4,650 ha; 55º00’N 006º04’W. The site is a peatland complex composed of a series of raised and flushed peat bog units, alkaline fen, and a number of water bodies. It supports at least six species listed in the Irish Red Data Book-Vascular Plants and up to five species of bird which are listed in the Irish Red Data Book. It provides habitat for Pluvialis apricaria and Lagopus lagopus. The site is used for grazing. Ramsar site no. 969. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Garry Bog.8/11/00; Northern Ireland; 155 ha; 55°07’N 006°32’W. One of the largest lowland raised bogs in Northern Ireland, the site exhibits the full range of characteristic vegetation and structural features associated with this type of habitat, such as bog pools and hummock complexes with extensive Sphagnum-rich bryophyte carpets. The lagg surrounding the bog has been cut for turf, creating a mosaic of water-logged cuttings at different levels, separated by elevated ramparts. The site, listed as wetland type "U" (peatlands), is considered to be internationally important by virtue of Criterion 1, as a large, relatively intact, and one of the best examples of lowland raised bog in the UK. Ramsar site no. 1042.Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Gibraltar Point. 05/03/93; England; 414 ha; 53º06’N 000º20’E. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. The area consists of a sand dunes system, freshwater and saltmarsh, extensive intertidal flats, and open water. The vegetation includes sedges (Carex spp), rushes, ferns, crowfoot, reed, sea holly, and sea campion. It supports Pluvialis squatarola (1.2% of the population), Limosa lapponica (0.6% of the population), and Branta bernicla bernicla (0.3% of the population). The site is used for recreation and grazing. Ramsar site no. 589. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Gladhouse Reservoir. 14/07/88; Scotland; 186 ha; 55º47’N 003º06’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. A large freshwater reservoir with several small islands. There is limited development of aquatic vegetation, although there are marginal areas of fen. The reservoir is a roosting site for internationally important numbers (3,440) of wintering geese. Ramsar site no. 404. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Greenlaw Moor. 15/03/96; Scotland; 248 ha; 55º44’N 002º27’W. Special Protection Area, SSSI. The site consists of an important heather moorland and includes raised mire and two pools. The area of raised moss is well developed and supports a typical flora, including regionally uncommon mosses. Internationally important numbers of Pink-footed Geese Anser brachyrhynchus winter at the site. Human activities include livestock grazing, cutting of vegetation, recreation, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 795. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Gruinart Flats, Islay. 14/07/88; Scotland; 3,261 ha; 55º51’N 006º20’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. A sea loch with extensive intertidal mud and sand flats, saltmarsh, blanket mire, and a well-developed dune complex. The area supports internationally important numbers of wintering and passage geese (Branta leucopsis) of the Greenland breeding population, and over 95% of the Greenland breeding population stages at the site in autumn. Various other breeding birds, including the globally threatened Crex crex, use the area. Ramsar site no. 401. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Hamford Water. 08/06/93; England; 2,187 ha; 51º53’N 001º14’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve, SSSI. An estuarine basin with an extensive network of tidal creeks, scattered islands, substantial intertidal sandflats, mudflats supporting Zostera spp. beds, and associated saltmarsh. Several rare or notable plants and a well-developed flora characteristic of the lime-rich sand are supported on the dune-topped shingle spits. The site is important for nationally and internationally important numbers of wintering and nesting waterbirds, and serves as a winter refuge for migratory waterbirds displaced by severe weather. Ramsar site no. 607. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Holburn Lake & Moss. 17/07/85; England; 28 ha; 55º37’N 001º55’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. An artificial lake and island supporting reedbeds and adjacent mire areas supporting various species of typical mire vegetation. The lake is a roosting site for internationally important numbers of geese. Access to the site is strictly limited. Ramsar site no. 302. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Humber Estuary. 28/07/94; England; 37,988 ha; 53º33’N 000º03’E. Special Protection Area, SSSI. An estuary with a max.7.4 m. tidal range exposing vast mud and sand flats at low tide. Vegetation includes extensive reedbeds, areas of mature and developing saltmarsh, backed by grazing marsh or low sand dunes with marshy slacks and brackish pools. The area regularly supports internationally important numbers of various species of breeding and wintering waterbirds. Many passage birds, notably internationally important populations of ringed plover, Charadriu hiaticula, and sanderling Caldris alba stage in the area. The site supports Britain’s most southeasterly breeding colony of gray seal Halichoerus grypus. Human activities include tourism, recreation, commercial and recreational fishing, livestock grazing, and hunting. Renamed and area significantly increased in 2007. Ramsar site no. 663. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Inner Clyde Estuary. 05/09/00; Scotland; 1,825 ha; 55º57’N 004º38’W. SSSI, EC Special Protection Area. A long narrow, heavily industrialized estuary near Glasgow on the west coast of Scotland, consisting mostly of tidal mudflat with a shoreline of unmanaged semi-natural coastal vegetation; saltmarsh is also present. In winter, the site supports internationally important numbers of redshank Tringa totanus. Sport fishing and hunting, in addition to navigation, are practiced in the area. Dredging and pollution from domestic sewage and oil are considered to be adverse factors, but monitoring is intended and long-term improvements in water quality are expected. Ramsar site no. 1036. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Inner Moray Firth. 22/07/99; Scotland; 2,339 ha; 56º50’N 004º21’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. The site supports important wetland habitats including intertidal flats, saltmarsh, and a sand and shingle spit. The intertidal areas are especially important for the population of wintering waterfowl, including Limosa lapponica (1%of the population) and Anser anser (3% of the population). Human activities include nature conservation, tourism, fishing, hunting, and grazing. Ramsar site no. 1002. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Irthinghead Mires. 17/07/85; England; 792 ha; 55º05’N 002º31’W. Nature Reserve, SSSI, Forest Park. A composite site embracing seven separate areas of mire near the Irthing River’s source. The site displays internationally important examples of blanket mire, a notable variety of mosses, and typical mire vegetation. It supports breeding waders, several rare plants, and a rare spider. The mires appear to be gradually drying-out as a result of nearby afforestation. Ramsar site no. 303. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Isles of Scilly. 13/08/01; England; 402 ha; 49°58’N 006°21’W. EC Special Protection Area. SSSI. The site is within the Isles of Scilly archipelago 45km southwest of Land’s End, England, and mainly consists of many small uninhabited islands and parts of some inhabited islands, with habitats including coastal cliffs, boulder beaches, heathland, and some dune grassland. The economy of local communities depends heavily upon tourism, which benefits from the presence of high numbers of breeding seabirds in an attractive environment. The site qualifies for the List by virtue of Criterion 6, for during the breeding season some 2.9% of the population of Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) is supported. The sea cliffs, rocky islets, and boulder beaches are relatively devoid of plant communities except for a sparse crevice vegetation with Crithmum maritimum and Armeria maritima. An environmental trust manages most of the land within the site and controls access of visitors to the most vulnerable areas by voluntary agreement with tour boat operators; it also maintains a rat control programme to reduce their impact on ground-nesting seabirds. Ramsar site no. 1095. Most recent RIS information: 2001.

Kintyre Goose Roosts. 28/10/98; Scotland; 312 ha; 55º31’N 005º37’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. This inland wetland comprises five hill lochs on the Kintyre peninsula. It supports an internationally important population of Greenland White-fronted goose (Anser albifrons flavirostris), 2,300 individuals representing 8% of the population. The site is used for recreation, fishing, grazing, hunting, and forestry. Ramsar site no. 966. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Larne Lough. 04/03/97; Northern Ireland; 396 ha; 54º49’N 005º45’W. SSSI, National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area. A shallow estuary partially enclosed by a peninsula and including intertidal flats and areas of saltmarsh. Vegetation is dominated by halophytic communities and includes reedbeds and saltmarsh pans. The site regularly supports nationally important numbers of breeding terns and internationally important numbers of wintering Light-bellied Brent Goose, Branta bernicla hrota. Human activities include recreation and some shellfish and bait gathering. Dredging is regularly carried out to maintain the shipping channel. Ramsar site no. 895. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Lee Valley. 09/10/00. England. 448 ha. 51°35’N 000°03’E. SSSI, SPA. A series of embanked water supply reservoirs, sewage treatment lagoons, and former gravel pits extending along about 24km of the valley from near Ware southward to Finsbury Park in London. These water bodies support internationally important numbers of wintering Gadwall and Shoveler (Criterion 6)and nationally important numbers of several other bird species. The site also contains a range of wetland and valley bottom habitats, both humanmade and semi-natural, which support a diverse array of wetland fauna and flora. Four SSSIs are included within the site. Virtually all parts of the site are subject to management plans in which nature conservation is a high or sole priority. Potential threats from eutrophic condition of the water, over-abstraction of surface water for public supply in periods of drought, and urban development pressures are felt to be addressed by several directives and regulations. Non-consumptive recreational activities are important and mostly well regulated. Ramsar site no. 1037. Most recent RIS information: 2000.

Leighton Moss. 28/11/85; England; 129 ha; 54º10’N 002º48’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. Originally wet peatland, the area was drained and cultivated in the 19th century before being re-flooded in 1917. The base-rich water has produced a rich vegetation consisting of large areas of sedge and reedbeds, fen communities, wet Salix scrub, and woodland. A diverse invertebrate fauna includes nationally or regionally rare beetles, moths, hoverflies, caddisflies, and water fleas. The site supports nationally important populations of breeding and wintering waterbirds. Ramsar site no. 323. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Lewis Peatlands. 22/12/00; Scotland; 58,984 ha; 58°15’N 006°35’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive. Largely made up of a near-continuous mantle of blanket bog (a significant proportion of the total world resource), liberally dotted with small pools and lochans. In the southern part, the peatland is more broken with outcrops of rocks of Lewisian gneiss and lochans, forming a distinctive "knock and lochan" landscape and including the largest freshwater nutrient-poor lochs of south central Isle of Lewis in the Western Isles. The vast expanse of this relatively undisturbed peatland supports a diverse range of associated flora and fauna, including 31% of the world population of dunlin (Calidris alpina schinzii). The hyper-oceanic, extremely humid upper boreal bioclimatic zone predominates to an extent found nowhere else in Scotland. Human uses include low-density sheep and red deer grazing, sport shooting and angling, and low-level recreational use of "quad bikes" and other all-terrain vehicles. Ramsar site no. 1046. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Lindisfarne. 05/01/76; England; 3,679 ha; 55º40’N 001º50’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve, SSSI, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coast. Extensive intertidal flats, with a large area of saltmarsh, a major sand dune system with well-developed dune slacks supporting beds of Zostera. The slacks provide food for an internationally important flock of wintering geese, Branta bernicla hrota (2,428), of the Spitzbergen breeding population. Various species of ducks and geese winter in internationally important numbers regularly exceeding 20,000 individuals. The site is of national importance for breeding terns. The dune systems support a rich flora and diverse invertebrate fauna. Tourism attracts up to 750,000 visitors annually. Ramsar site no. 70. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Llyn Idwal. 07/11/91; Wales; 14 ha; 53º07’N 004º01’W. National Park, Nature Reserve, SSSI. A small nutrient-poor mountain valley lake with an unusually species-rich plant community, including almost all of the species typical of nutrient-poor waters in Britain. Numerous species are nationally scarce or vulnerable at a European level. The semi-circular rock basin (cwm) containing the lake is one of the finest examples in the area. Ramsar site no. 534. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Llyn Tegid. 07/11/91; Wales; 482 ha; 52º53’N 003º37’W. National Park, SSSI. The largest natural lake in Wales, set in a deep formerly-glaciated trough. Its aquatic vegetation is sparse, but the range of species, several of which are scarce in Britain, is indicative of generally average nutrient conditions. Llyn Tegid is one of only six sites in Britain for the fish Coregonus lavaretus and is an unusual habitat for the normally riverine fish Thymallus thymallus. Ramsar site no. 535. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Loch an Duin. 25/04/90; Scotland; 2,621 ha; 57º38’N 007º09’W. SSSI, Scenic Area. This site is important in the British Isles for its complex system of freshwater, brackish and sea lochs, and tidal channels. It includes part of the northeast coastland of North Uist and some of the adjacent islands and skerries. The comprehensive range of salinities, from freshwater to brackish and saltwater, is reflected in the associated plant and animal communities, which include the northern forms of some seaweeds. The habitat types of the coastland and islands range from moorland to maritime grassland. The site is also important for its geomorphology, as it is one of the best fjardic loch systems in Great Britain. Ramsar site no. 468. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch Eye. 01/10/86; Scotland; 205 ha; 57º47’N 003º58’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI, Statutory Bird Sanctuary. A shallow freshwater loch with a rich growth of submerged vegetation. The loch is fringed by a narrow band of trees and an area of Salix carr. The terrestrial flora and invertebrate fauna includes nationally rare species. The lake is a roosting site for internationally important numbers of swans and geese. The catchment is dominated by arable agriculture and commercial forestry. Ramsar site no. 340. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch Ken & River Dee Marshes. 31/08/92; Scotland; 769 ha; 54º59’N 004º01’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. The site comprises a long linear loch and river system which is the southernmost of its type in Scotland. It contains areas of swamp, fen, grassland and carr woodland and is a good example of a semi-natural freshwater system in north-west Europe. The site supports internationally important roosting numbers of Greenland white-fronted geese Anser albifrons flavirostris and Icelandic greylag geese Anser anser. There are four nationally important aquatic plants and three nationally important aquatic invertebrates found within the wetland complex. The site is a diverse and complex water system with opportunities for environmental education and research. Ramsar site no. 568. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch Leven. 05/01/76; Scotland; 1,612 ha; 56º12’N 003º23’W. Nature Reserve, SSSI. The site, the largest nutrient-rich lake in Britain, is an excellent example of a wetland with multiple uses in balance with its natural heritage interest. Consisting of several islands surrounded by damp pasture, the site is of national entomological importance and includes several nationally rare species of aquatic flora. The loch provides feeding, roosting and wintering sites for internationally important numbers (averaging 18,463 individuals in winter) of swans, geese and ducks. Human activities include intensive trout fishing, bird hunting, and general recreation. Ramsar site no. 72. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch Lomond. 05/01/76; Scotland; 237 ha; 56º04’N 004º30’W. Nature Reserve, SSSI, Environmentally Sensitive Area, Scenic Area. A large freshwater lake, with waters varying from nutrient-poor to nutrient-rich. The site includes river floodplains and five wooded islands. The floodplain is a mosaic of open water, average nutrient-load fen, wet woodland, meadows, and grazing areas supporting rich communities of plants, invertebrates, fish, and birds, including rare species, and internationally important numbers of wintering geese. Human activities include tourism, recreation, and water sports. Ramsar site no. 73. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch Maree. 19/09/94; Scotland; 3,174 ha; 57º41’N 005º28’W. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area, SSSI. A large nutrient-poor loch supporting outstanding assemblages of flora and fauna, including five nationally scarce aquatic plants, a nationally outstanding assemblage of dragonflies, and a genetically distinct population of char (Salvelinus alpinus). The single most important breeding population of Black-throated Diver, Gavia arctica, in Britain occurs at the site. Human activities include tourism, fishing, and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 700. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch of Inch & Torrs Warren. 02/02/99; Scotland; 2,111 ha; 54º50’N 004º52’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive. The area is composed of two separate sites: a large nutrient-rich freshwater loch including well-developed fen communities, and an area of foreshore and sand dunes. In winter, both components of the site support internationally important numbers of Greenland White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris). The area is used for nature conservation, military activities, pastoral agriculture, tourism, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 972. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch of Kinnordy. 29/03/94; Scotland; 85 ha; 56º40’N 003º03’W. Special Protection Area, SSSI. A nutrient-rich loch and associated wetland communities consisting of basin mire, swamp, and fen. The loch was formerly much larger in extent, but a series of drainage attempts were made, initially to facilitate marl removal. However, it has been increasing in extent in recent years due to the silting of the loch's current outflow stream. Vegetation includes various types of grasslands, willow, alder and birch woodlands, fen communities supporting reedbeds, and various scarce plant species. Internationally important numbers of geese winter at the site. Human activities include recreation, hunting, and fishing. Ramsar site no. 652. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch of Lintrathen. 24/07/81; Scotland; 217 ha; 56º41’N 003º11’W. SSSI. A large, deep nutrient-rich loch, occupying a mid-altitude basin of glacial origin and used as a water supply reservoir. There is no emergent vegetation within the site, but occasional falls in water level due to water extraction from the reservoir can create large expanses of dswarf inundation vegetation; Peplis portula and Eleocharis acicularis characterize this vegetation. The site includes a viewing hide overlooking the area frequented by internationally important numbers of roosting and wintering Anser anser. Small numbers of other wintering geese, ducks, and swans also occur. Ramsar site no. 217. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch of Skene. 01/10/86; Scotland; 121 ha; 57º09’N 002º21’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. A shallow, nutrient-rich, freshwater lake fringed by reedbeds and Betula-Salix carr. The macrophyte flora has been somewhat depleted by a growth of algae but the deeper water still retains a dense and diverse macrophyte community. Wintering waterbirds include internationally important numbers of roosting swans and geese and nationally important numbers of Bucephalaclangula and Mergus merganser. Ramsar site no. 339. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch of Strathbeg. 27/11/95; Scotland; 616 ha; 57º37’N 001º53’W. Special Protection Area, SSSI. A shallow nutrient-rich loch constituting the largest dune slack pool in Britain. Vegetation consists of reedbeds, freshwater marshes, and alder-willow carr. Calcareous dunes and dune slacks are relatively undisturbed and provide habitat for a rich flora and fauna. This site provides wintering habitat for numerous important wetland bird species, notably internationally important numbers of geese and the Whooper Swan, Cygnus cygnus, and is an important staging area for migratory waterbirds. Human activities include tourism, fishing, and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 778. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch Ruthven. 16/08/96; Scotland; 201 ha; 57º20’N 004º17’W. Special Protection Area, SSSI. A loch with rocky margins fringed by bottle sedge. The site includes a marshy zone, areas of open water, swamp, fen, and acidic grassland, and is surrounded by birchwood. Two nationally scarce orchid species are present. The site forms a core part of the breeding range, and supports one of the most productive breeding populations in Britain, of Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus. Human activities include recreation, fishing, and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 855. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Loch Spynie. 31/08/92; Scotland; 94 ha; 57º41’N 003º17’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. The loch developed in the 16th century from the closure of a tidal inlet by a shingle spit, giving rise to a shallow, nutrient-rich lagoon. The area exhibits typical succession of wetland plant communities, supporting several nationally rare species. The diversity of vegetation types supports a correspondingly interesting flora and fauna. The site is important for wintering and staging waterbirds, including internationally important numbers of geese returning to Icelandic breeding grounds. Human activities include management of vegetational succession and tourism. Ramsar site no. 569. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Lough Foyle. 02/02/99; Northern Ireland; 2,204 ha; 55º05’N 007º02’W. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive. The site is composed of a large shallow lough including estuaries, extensive intertidal areas of mudflats, sandflats, saltmarsh and associated brackish ditches. It supports a diverse assemblage of waterfowl (Limosa lapponica, 1.6% of the population, and Branta bernicla hrota, 11% of the population) and internationally important (more than 29,000 birds) waterfowl. The site is used for nature conservation, gathering shellfish, and recreation. Ramsar site no. 974. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Lough Neagh and Lough Beg. 05/01/76; Northern Ireland; 50,166 ha; 54º34’N 006º25’W. Nature Reserve, Area of Special Scientific Interest, Wildfowl Refuge. The largest freshwater lake in the British Isles, with a catchment nearly 40% of the surface of Northern Ireland and fed by major rivers. The site includes floodplains and marshes. Land adjoining the lake is used for grazing. Numerous species of waterbirds occur in nationally and internationally important numbers and include swans and ducks. Eutrophication from agricultural run-off and sewage is seen as a threat. Subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission in 1989. Ramsar site no. 74. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Lower Derwent Valley. 17/07/85; England; 915 ha; 53º53’N 000º56’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve, SSSI, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Statutory Bird Sanctuary. A seasonally inundated river floodplain between two villages. Dominant vegetation is grassland that is determined by the extent of winter flooding. The site includes one of the most important examples of traditionally managed species-rich alluvial flood meadow habitat remaining in the UK. The site is of particular importance for several species of breeding waders, and nationally important numbers of ducks and swans breed or winter at the site. Human activities have included flood control measures, as well as recreation, fishing, grazing, and hunting, and deep coal mining is occurring under the site. Extended on 08/06/93 from the former Ramsar Site known as Derwent Ings. Ramsar site no. 301. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Magheraveely Marl Loughs. 07/02/07; Northern Ireland; 59 ha; 54°11'N 007°16'W; SSSI/ASSI, SAC. The site is composed of six loughs of which three are intersected by the border with the Republic of Ireland - they represent the best remaining examples of a relatively rare lake type in Northern Ireland characterised by the presence of calcium carbonate deposits, or marl, which, precipitated out of the calcium-rich water, produces marl loughs. Biological interest is related to the presence of vegetation which reflects these calcareous conditions, including rich and extensive stonewort (charophyte) communities. The loughs are surrounded by an inundation zone containing significant stands of alkaline fen vegetation. The clean unpolluted waters of the loughs support populations of White-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes, a species which is becoming increasingly rare throughout its geographical range. Ramsar site no. 1717. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Malham Tarn. 28/10/93; England; 286 ha; 54º06’N 002º10’W. National Nature Reserve, SSSI. The site comprises areas of open water, calcareous fen, soligenous mire, and raised bog. It supports the nationally rare Bartsia alpina and Calamagrostis stricta. It also provides habitat for five listed British Red Data Book invertebrates, including Agrypnia crassicornis. Human activities include tourism, recreation, grazing and permanent pastoral agriculture. Ramsar site no. 634. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Martin Mere. 28/11/85; England; 120 ha; 53º37’N 002º53’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. A low-lying complex of open water, marsh and grassland habitats overlying deep peat. Numbers of wintering waterbirds regularly exceed 20,000 individuals and include internationally important numbers of swans, ducks and geese. Wintering and passage Philomachus pugnax (passage flock of 50), and scarce or rare plant and invertebrate species, are also features of national importance. There are a visitors’ centre, trails and hides available at the site. Ramsar site no. 324. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Medway Estuary & Marshes. 15/12/93; England; 4,697 ha; 51º24’N 000º41’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. The site is a complex of rain-fed, brackish, floodplain grazing marsh with ditches and intertidal marsh and mudflat. It is of international importance for its diverse assemblage of wetland plants and invertebrates (12 British Red Data Book species). Over the winter it provides habitat for Tringa totanus (2.1% of the population), Pluvialis squatarola (2% of the population), and Calidris alpina alpina (1.9% of the population). The area is used for recreation, fishing, grazing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 645. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Mersey Estuary. 20/12/95; England; 5,033 ha; 53º20’N 002º54’W. Special Protection Area, SSSI. A large, sheltered estuary comprising large areas of saltmarsh and intertidal sand and mudflats. The site includes brackish marsh, rocky shoreline, and cliffs set in a rural and industrial environment. Internationally important numbers of various species of waterbirds feed and roost at the site in winter, or stage at the site in spring and fall, notably Charadrius hiaticula. Human activities include livestock grazing, hunting, industrial activities. Ramsar site no. 785. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Midland Meres & Mosses (Phase 1). 09/05/94; England; 511 ha; 52º54’N 002º50’W. National Nature Reserve, SSSI. A series of lowland open water and peatland sites set in depressions in glacial drift left by receding ice sheets. The 16 component sites include nutrient-rich water bodies (meres), associated fringing habitats of reed swamps, fen, carr and damp pasture, and floating quaking bog (schwingmoor). The wide range of resulting habitats supports numerous rare species of plants and invertebrates. Human activities include recreation, fishing, livestock grazing, and haymaking. Ramsar site no. 653. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Midland Meres & Mosses (Phase 2). 02/02/97; England, Wales; 1,588 ha; 52º55’N 002º46’W. National Nature Reserve, SSSI. A series of 18 sites made up of nutrient-rich open water bodies (meres) with fringing habitats of reed swamp, fen, carr and damp pasture, and peatlands. The landscape features developed in depressions in the glacial drift left by receding ice sheets. The wide range of habitats supports nationally important flora and fauna. Human activities include hunting, fishing, and research activities. Ramsar site no. 891. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Minsmere-Walberswick. 05/01/76; England; 2,019 ha; 52º19’N 001º38’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve, SSSI, Environmentally Sensitive Area, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coast. A mosaic of coastal habitats consisting of shingle beaches, dunes, estuarine mudflats, grazing marshes, lagoons, reedbeds, and heathland. The marshes support the largest continuous stand of reedbed in England and Wales. The site supports an outstanding diversity of breeding birds, including a number of nationally rare species which winter at the site, as well as rare species of marshland flora and insect fauna. A flagship reserve, in which a well-developed system of trails and hides are maintained. Human activities include groundwater abstraction and increasing numbers of visitors. Ramsar site no. 75. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Montrose Basin. 03/02/95; Scotland; 985 ha; 56º43’N 002º30’W. Special Protection Area, SSSI. The site, relatively unimpacted by development, consists of an enclosed estuary, mudflats, marsh, and a small nutrient-rich loch. Due to its unusual hydrology, there is a high species diversity in the intertidal zone. Internationally important numbers of Pink-footed Geese Anser brachyrhynchus, Greylag Geese Anser anser, and Redshank Tringa totanus winter at the site. Human activities include recreation, agriculture, and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 716. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Moray & Nairn Coast. 02/02/97; Scotland; 2,412 ha; 57º39’N 003º44’W. Special Area for Conservation, Special Protection Area, SSSI. The site, of outstanding conservation and scientific importance for coastal and riverine habitats, includes intertidal flats, saltmarsh, dunes, and associated floodplain alder Alnus glutinosa woodland. Several nationally scarce aquatic plants, invertebrates, and mammals are present. The site regularly supports migrating waterbirds and various species of wintering waders, as well as internationally important numbers of wintering geese. Human activities include recreation, timber harvesting, shellfish collecting, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 890. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Morecambe Bay. 04/10/96; England; 37,405 ha; 54º07’N 002º57’W. Special Area for Conservation, Special Protection Area, SSSI. Representing the largest continuous intertidal area in Britain, the site comprises the estuaries of five rivers, intertidal mud and sandflats, associated saltmarshes, shingle beaches, and other coastal habitats. It is part of a series of west coast estuaries of outstanding importance for numerous species of passage, breeding and wintering waterbirds. The site supports the third largest number of wintering wildfowl in Britain. Breeding birds include gulls and terns. Human activities include recreation, hunting, fishing, and livestock grazing. Site extended from 35,372 to 36,913 hectares in 1999. Ramsar site no. 863. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Muir of Dinnet. 22/07/99; Scotland; 158 ha; 57º05’N 002º55’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, National Nature Reserve, SSSI. A large mosaic of heath woodland and mire, including peat bogs, swamps, fens, with open water in two sizable lochs (Davan and Kinord) and vegetation succession and transitions developing between the major habitat types. Around the open water areas, a mosaic of vegetation communities has established on soils derived from glacial material overlying granite. In winter, it regularly supports internationally important numbers of Greylag Goose (Anser anser), averaging about 30.000 at winter peak (29% of the world population). Human activities include nature conservation and recreation. Ramsar site no. 1003. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Nene Washes. 05/03/93; England; 1,517 ha; 52º35’N 000º05’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. An extensive area of seasonally flooded wet grassland along channelized river reaches. Several nationally scarce plants and vulnerable, rare or relict fenland invertebrates are represented. The site is important for various species of breeding and wintering waterbirds, notably internationally important numbers of wintering Cygnus columbianus bewickii (1,300). A refuge for birds displaced by excessive floodwaters, the site’s international importance will only be retained by the preservation of winter flooding and high summer water tables. Ramsar site no. 587. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

North Norfolk Coast. 05/01/76; England; 7,887 ha; 52º58’N 000º36’E. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve, SSSI, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coast. A stretch of coastline consisting of shingle beaches, dunes, saltmarsh, intertidal mud and sand flats, brackish lagoons, reedbeds, and grazing marshes. The site supports nationally and internationally important numbers of various species of breeding or wintering waterbirds. It also includes several important botanical areas and is a centre for tourism and general recreation; a visitors’ centre, trails and hides are available. Ramsar site no. 76. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

North Uist Machair and Islands. 22/07/99, significantly extended 03/11/00; Scotland; 4705 ha; 57º32’N 007º23’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. The site comprises a "machair" areas (grassland upon sand, commonly behind coastal sand dunes in northwestern Scotland) which show a range of habitats from intertidal sand and rock through sand dunes and dune slacks to a calcareous coastal plain and acid grassland. The site contains freshwater wetlands, including nutrient-rich and average nutrient machair loch, important freshwater marshes and fens, wet and dry machair and saltmarsh. The area supports a rich and diverse range of plant communities, including some nationally scarce plants and mosses, and qualifies under Criterion 6 by supporting internationally important numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover during the breeding season and Barnacle Goose, Ringed Plover, and Turnstone during the winter. The extended designation now includes four sites on the west and north coasts of North Uist and all or part of three islands in the Sound of Harris south of Lewis and Harris. The RSPB maintains a small visitors’ centre and guided walks at the Balranald Bog part of the site. The spread of the invasive American mink is considered to be a potential threat and measures are being taken. Human activities include nature conservation, tourism, and permanent pastoral agriculture. Ramsar site no. 1004. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Northumbria Coast. 02/02/00; England; 1108 ha; 55°27’N' 001°35’W. EC Habitats Directive SPA; SSSI. Comprises several discrete sections of rocky foreshore between Spittal, in the north of Northumberland, and an area just south of Blackhall Rocks in County Durham. These stretches of coast regularly support internationally important numbers of purple sandpiper (Calidris maritima) and turnstone (Arenaria interpres, 1739 individuals, 2.6 % of the Eastern Atlantic Flyway population). The Ramsar site also includes an area of sandy beach which supports a nationally important breeding colony of little tern and parts of three artificial piers which form important roost sites for purple sandpiper. The 96% of the site composed of Wetland Type D (rocky marine shore) includes cliffs, crags/ledges, intertidal rock, open coast (including bay), and pools and assists in shoreline stabilization, dissipation of erosive forces, and sediment trapping. Little terns are vulnerable to disturbance by tourists in the summer causing reduced breeding success, and the National Trust employs wardens in summer to protect the little tern colony. A range of recreational activities takes place along the coast, including walking, camping, sea angling, birdwatching, and water sports (water skiing, sailing, windsurfing and canoeing). Birdwatching is particularly popular at Druridge Bay. In addition to many day trippers who come to the site, a sizeable population of summer visitors stay in caravan parks and other accommodation along the coast. Ramsar site no. 1019. Most recent RIS information: 2000.

Ouse Washes. 05/01/76; England; 2,469 ha; 52º29’N 000º12’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. Added to the Montreux Record, 31/10/00. A long, narrow area of seasonally flooded grassland providing flood storage, set between two channelized rivers. Wintering waterbirds regularly exceed 20,000 individuals, including nationally and internationally important numbers of wintering swans and various duck species. The site is of national importance for breeding ducks and waders. Human activities include traditional livestock grazing and hay production. Declining numbers of breeding waterfowl, changes in vegetation communities, and declining water quality, apparently caused by an increase in summer flooding, among other things, led the government to add Ouse Washes to the Montreux Record in October 2000. Subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission in 2001. Ramsar site no. 77. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Pagham Harbour. 30/03/88; England; 637 ha; 50º46’N 000º46’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI, Local Nature Reserve. An estuarine harbour with shingle beaches, intertidal mudflats and saltmarsh, giving way to brackish marsh supporting reedbeds and damp pasture. The site includes a nationally important vegetation community and small amounts of ancient woodland. Nationally and internationally important numbers of wintering or breeding waterbirds or waders use the site. Ramsar site no. 396. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Pettigoe Plateau. 19/11/96; Northern Ireland; 1,264 ha; 54º32’N 007º59’W. Area of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Area. Abutting the border with the Irish Republic, the site is one of the largest expanses of blanket bog in Northern Ireland. Features include numerous pool complexes, acid flushes, basin mires and ladder fens supporting characteristic bog vegetation. The site supports an important assemblage of nationally vulnerable and endangered bird species. Nationally important numbers of golden plovers Pluvialis apricaria breed at the site. Human activities include livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 872. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Pevensey Levels. 02/02/99; England; 3,578 ha; 50º50’N 000º21’E. National Nature Reserve. The site is one of the largest and least fragmented lowland wet grassland systems in southeast England, including a small area of shingle and intertidal muds and sands. The low-lying grazing meadows are intersected by a complex system of ditches which support rare and scarce aquatic plants and invertebrates (freshwater molluscs and dragonflies Odonata spp) as well as breeding and wintering wildfowl. The area is used for nature conservation, pastoral agriculture, tourism, fishing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 973. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Poole Harbour. 22/07/99; England; 2,439 ha; 50º40’N 002º01’W. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. The site is described as the best and largest example in Britain of a bar-built estuary with lagoon characteristics. It is composed of salt marshes, peatland mires, swamps, and fens. The site supports two species of nationally rare plants and one nationally rare alga, as well as at least three Red Data Book species of invertebrate. There are also internationally important numbers of waterfowl, including Sterna hirundo and Larus melanocephalus. The area is used for nature conservation, recreation, permanent pastoral agriculture, and fishing. Ramsar site no. 1005. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Portsmouth Harbour. 28/02/95; England; 1,249 ha; 50º50’N 001º08’W. Special Protection Area, SSSI. A large industrialized estuary consisting of a saltmarsh, vast expanses of mudflats, and tidal creeks on the south coast. The mudflats, supporting extensive beds of eelgrass, green algae, and sea lettuce, provide feeding grounds for internationally important numbers of wintering Dark-bellied Brent Geese. A unique and high quality flora and fauna occur at the site. Nationally important numbers of Gray Plover, dunlin, and Black-tailed Godwit are supported. Set in an urban area, there is a major port facility, and large-scale military activities occur at the site. Ramsar site no. 720. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Rannoch Moor. 05/01/76; Scotland; 1,519 ha; 56º39’N 004º36’W. Nature Reserve, SSSI. Dominated by glacial features, moraines, peat-filled depressions, and lochs, and exhibiting an extensive complex of western-type blanket bog, the site includes numerous nutrient-poor and acidic lakes with varying extents of marginal and submerged vegetation. Rare species of plants (Rannoch rush Scheuchzeria palustris), beetles, flies and moths are amongst features of national importance, and there is an excellent range of breeding wetland and moorland birds (Pluvialis apricaria and Tringa nebularia). The site is used for livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 78. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Redgrave and South Lopham Fens. 15/02/91; England; 127 ha; 52º23’N 001º01’E. Nature Reserve, SSSI, Environmentally Sensitive Area. An excellent example of spring-fed lowland valley fen, exhibiting several distinct vegetation communities, supporting a diverse and well-studied invertebrate fauna. The site is one of only two British localities for the spider Dolomedes plantarius. Intensive arable agriculture extends to the site boundary. There is a boardwalk and a network of footpaths for visitors. Ramsar site no. 513. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Ribble and Alt Estuaries. 28/11/85; England; 13,464 ha; 53º43’N 002º59’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. A large area, including two estuaries, extensive sand and mudflats, saltmarsh and dunes. The tidal flats and saltmarsh support internationally important populations of wintering waterbirds. Internationally important vegetation communities and amphibian populations occur in the sand dunes. Human activities include tourism, livestock grazing, hunting, and large-scale industrial and military activities. There are port facilities, as well as oil and gas production and exploration activities, in the surroundings. Extended on 16/02/95 from the former Ramsar Site known as Alt Estuary. Ramsar site no. 325. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Rinns of Islay. 25/04/90; Scotland; 3,571 ha; 55º51’N 006º23’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. A mosaic of natural and semi-natural habitats including bog, moorland, blanket mires, dune and maritime grasslands, and farmland. The site supports a peatland flora of exceptional interest that includes several nationally scarce wetland species. An important staging area for internationally important numbers of Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis and redshank Tringa totanus, and nationally important numbers of Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula and sanderling Calidris alba. The site supports a diverse assemblage of breeding waders and internationally important numbers of wintering geese Anser albifrons flavirostris. Human activities include livestock grazing, recreation, fishing, and hunting. Extended on 27/11/95 to include former Ramsar Sites Feur Lochain and Glac na Criche. Ramsar site no. 466. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

River Spey-Insh Marshes. 02/02/97; Scotland; 1,159 ha; 57º05’N 004º00’W. Special Protection Area, SSSI. Forming the largest unit of poor fen floodplain mire in Britain, the site consists of a large area of swamp and carr subject to seasonal flooding, extensive river shingles, and a gravel fan. The site includes Loch Insh and reaches of the Spey River that support large numbers of wintering and breeding waterbirds consisting of several rare species. The site supports a large assemblage of nationally rare or scarce aquatic plants and invertebrates, and is one of the best sites in Britain for otter Lutra lutra. Human activities include recreation, fishing, hunting, and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 889. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Ronas Hill-North Roe & Tingon. 11/08/97; Scotland; 5,470 ha; 60º33’N 001º25’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. Comprises two adjacent headlands separated by Ronas Voe in the North Mainland of Shetland. Most of the site is composed of active blanket bog with numerous acidic lochans and pools that support a typical peatland avifauna. It provides habitat for common seal (Phoca vitulina) and otter (Lutra lutra), and the invertebrate fauna includes the arctic water flea (Eurycercus glacialis). Human activities include tourism, recreation, fishing, and grazing. Ramsar site no. 916. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Rostherne Mere. 24/07/81; England; 80 ha; 53º21’N 002º23’W. Nature Reserve, SSSI. Part of a series of open water and peatland, including peat bog and marsh areas set in glaciated landscape. Vegetation consists of fringing reedbeds, wooded and agricultural land. Wintering waterbirds include nationally important numbers of various duck species. Human activities include agricultural use and bird hunting. Ramsar site no. 221. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Roydon Common. 05/03/93; England; 194 ha; 52º46’N 000º30’E. SSSI. A mixed valley mire exhibiting a classic sequence of vegetation types, linked to the varying hydrological characteristics of the site and influenced by the nutrient quality of the water. Several vulnerable or nationally scarce plant and invertebrate species are supported. The site provides nesting habitat for Caprimulgus europaeus, winter roosting sites for raptors Circus cyaneus and Falco columbarius. Ramsar site no. 588. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Rutland Water. 04/10/91; England; 1,360 ha; 52º39’N 000º40’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. A large, artificial freshwater reservoir fringed by a mosaic of wetland habitats that display a succession from open water communities to semi-natural mature woodland. A regionally important area for breeding and passage birds. Wintering waterbirds regularly exceed 20,000 individuals and include internationally important numbers of ducks and nationally important numbers of several Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans). The policy of integrating nature conservation with recreation has proved extremely successful. Ramsar site no. 533. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Severn Estuary. 05/01/76; England, Wales; 24,701 ha; 51º36’N 002º40’W. Special Protection Area, Nature Reserve, SSSI. The estuary has the second highest tidal range in the world and consists of an extensive intertidal zone comprising intertidal mudflats, sand banks, saltmarsh, shingle, and rocky platforms. Flora and fauna communities typical of extreme physical conditions occur at the site. The invertebrate community provides an important food source for passage and wintering waders. The site is of particular importance for staging nationally important numbers of several species of waterbirds, including Tadorna tadorna and Numenius phaeopus, and supports internationally important numbers of various species of wintering waterbirds, including Limosa limosa islandica. This site is important for several species of fish migrating between sea and river via the estuary. Small patches of a nationally rare plant Lythrum hyssopifolia are found in the grassland zone. Human activities include recreation, fishing, and hunting, and a visitors’ centre, trails and hides are maintained. Extended on 13/07/95 from the former Ramsar Sites Bridgwater Bay and Upper Severn Estuary. Ramsar site no. 67. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Silver Flowe. 24/07/81; Scotland; 620 ha; 55º07’N 004º24’W. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; Nature Reserve, SSSI. This series of patterned blanket mires constitutes the least-disturbed and most varied extent of acid peatland in southern Scotland and is one of the most important systems of blanket mire in Great Britain. These mires, which have developed on the floor of a broad glacial valley in the Galloway Hills, exhibit a complete gradation from discrete mires along the valley bottom which, in their external features, have obvious affinities with raised mire topography to others at the head of the valley which are indisputably blanket mire. Ramsar site no. 219. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Sléibhtean agus Cladach Thiriodh (Tiree Wetlands and Coast). 16/11/01; Scotland; 1,939 ha; 56°30'N 006°52'W. SSSI, SPA EC Directive. The site includes significant portions of a small island west of the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, consisting of two zones: an intertidal sector comprising rocky shore, sandy bays, and shingle shore, and an inland sector comprising "machair" (sandy coastal) plain, marsh, and wet moorland with one large and several small lochs and numerous pools. The inland areas provide roost sites for internationally important numbers of wintering geese from Greenland and breeding sites for a variety of wader species, whilst the intertidal sectors support similarly significant numbers of wintering wader populations. Several of the lochs support rich aquatic plant communities including a range of nationally scarce and rare species, and the site provides an excellent representative of dune and machair habitats. Sheep and cattle grazing is the main land use of the site; disturbance from ditching and clearance by local crofters is being addressed by management agreements. Features of archaeological and historical interest are mentioned in the datasheets but no details have been provided. Ramsar site no. 1158. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Slieve Beagh. 28/07/00; Northern Ireland; 1,885 ha; 54º21’N 007º12’W. Area of Special Scientific Interest, National Nature Reserve. A particularly good and relatively intact example of a blanket bog, featuring occasional well developed hummock and lawn complexes, a few small localized pool complexes, as well as soakways and flushes. The vegetation is characterized by Sphagnum mosses, ericoid dwarf-shrubs and sedges, including amongst the peatland flora a number of rare and unusual species. Potential threats include peat-cutting, past drainage, heavy grazing, excessive burning, and afforestation in adjacent areas, but these are being addressed by means of management agreements with private owners near the site. Ramsar site no. 1035. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Solent and Southampton Water. 01/10/98; England; 5,415 ha; 50º44’N 001º32’W. National Nature Reserve, SSSI. The site is comprised of estuaries and adjacent coastal habitats including intertidal flats, saline lagoons, shingle beaches, reefs, saltmarsh, and reedbeds, damp woodland, and grazing marsh. The site exhibits an "unusual strong double tidal flow" and has long periods of slack water at high and low tide. It supports internationally important numbers of wintering waterfowl (51,361 over the winter) including Charadrius hiaticula, Anas crecca and Branta bernicla bernicla, important breeding gull and tern populations, and an impressive assemblage of rare invertebrates and plants. Human activities include tourism, recreation, fishing, marine aquaculture, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 965. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Somerset Levels andMoors. 26/06/97; England; 6,388 ha; 51º10’N 002º52’W. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. This inland wetland consists of wet grassland, peat bog, fen, and reedbed. It attracts rare invertebrates, particularly beetles, and internationally important numbers of wildfowl in winter. It supports 73,014 waterfowls, including Vanellus vanellus (0.5% of the population) and Anas crecca (3.3% of the population). The area is used for recreation, fishing, commercial forestry, hunting, and grazing. Ramsar site no. 914. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

South Tayside Goose Roosts. 22/04/93; Scotland; 331 ha; 56º16’N 003º50’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. The site incorporates three widely separated component sectors consisting of seven permanent, freshwater lakes ("lochs"), numerous smaller water bodies, and various wetland habitats, including one of the largest raised bogs in the region. The lochs provide roost sites for internationally important numbers of wintering geese and for nationally important numbers of nesting ducks. Ramsar site no. 601. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

South Uist Machair and Lochs. 05/01/76; Scotland; 5,019 ha; 57º19’N 007º20’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. A complex site that includes inland, marine and coastal wetlands on the west coast of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, with outstanding examples of relict woodland, moorland, blanket bog, freshwater marsh, salt marsh, coastal dunes, and sandy rock shores. Part of the largest "machair" (sandy coastal plain) system in the British Isles. Coastal dunes with dune slacks grade into the machair plain consisting of shallow, nutrient-rich lochs, associated fens and marshes. The site is important for wintering and breeding waterfowl such as Anser anser (4.8% of the breeding population) and Charadrius hiaticula (2.5% of the breeding population). The machair is used for traditional rotational cultivation and grazing, as well as for nature conservation, tourism, and recreation. Extended on 01/12/97 from the Ramsar site Loch Druidibeg, Loch a'Machair & Loch Stilligarry, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Ramsar site no. 71. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

South West London Waterbodies. 09/10/00. England. 828 ha. 51°24’N 000°23’E. SSSI, SPA. Comprises a number of reservoirs and former gravel pits in the Thames Valley adjacent to Heathrow Airport between Windsor and Hampton Court which support internationally important numbers of Gadwall Anas strepera and Shoveler Anas clypeata (Criterion 6). Potential future decommissioning of reservoirs once they are no longer needed for water supply may eventually require discussions with the current owners. Threats from potential urban development pressures are felt to be covered by existing regulations. Disturbance from recreational activities in parts of the site in winter months will be monitored. Ramsar site no. 1038. Most recent RIS information: 2000.

Stodmarsh. 16/12/93; England; 481 ha; 51º18’N 001º10’E. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. This is a complex site comprising inland, marine and coastal wetlands. It is important because it supports a number of uncommon wetland invertebrates and plants, and it provides breeding and wintering habitat for several wetland bird species, particularly waterfowl such as Anas Strepera. The main activities include nature conservation, recreation, research, and fishing. Ramsar site no. 646. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Stour and Orwell Estuaries. 13/07/94; England; 3,324 ha; 51º57’N 001º09’E. Special Protection Area, SSSI. An estuary comprising extensive mudflats, low cliffs, saltmarsh, and areas of vegetated shingle on the lower river reaches. The site supports internationally and nationally important numbers of numerous species of wintering wildfowl and waders. Several nationally scarce plants and invertebrates occur. Human activities include tourism, bait collection, livestock grazing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 662. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Strangford Loch. 09/03/98; Northern Ireland; 15,581 ha; 54º27’N 005º36’W. National Nature Reserve, SSSI. The wetland types for this site include marine and coastal wetlands. The site supports one of the most extensive saltmarsh areas in Northern Ireland. Present are an assemblage of vulnerable and endangered wetland plants and animals such as eelgrass, and marine sponges, marine mollusc, and it is also a breeding and wintering site for well over 70,200 waterfowl. Human activities include nature conservation, tourism, recreation, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 937. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Teesmouth & Cleveland Coast. 15/08/95; England; 1,247 ha; 54º38’N 001º07’W. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area, SSSI. An estuary, highly modified by human activities, encompassing a range of habitats including sand and mud flats, rocky shore, saltmarsh, freshwater marsh, and sand dunes. Nationally and internationally important numbers of various species of waterbirds stage and winter at the site. The site supports a rich assemblage of invertebrates, including seven nationally rare species. Human activities include recreation, hunting, and fishing. Site extended from 943 to 1247 hectares, 11/04/00. Ramsar site no. 741. Most recent RIS information: 2000.

Thames Estuary and Marshes. 05/05/00; England; 5,589 ha; 51°29’N 000°36’E. Special Protection Area/ EC Birds Directive; SSSI. The site comprises a complex of brackish, floodplain grazing marsh ditches, saline lagoons and intertidal saltmarsh and mudflat along the River Thames between Gravesend and Sheerness in Essex and Kent. The habitats support internationally important numbers of wintering waterfowl, and the saltmarsh and grazing marsh are of international importance for their diverse assemblages of wetland plants and invertebrates. The site performs important hydrological functions, including shoreline stablization, sediment trapping, flood water storage and desynchronization of flood peaks, and maintenance of water quality by removal of nutrients. Human uses include yachting, angling, wildfowling (seasonal), jet skiing, waterskiing, and birdwatching; disturbance from some of these is a current issue but is being addressed through negotation and awareness-raising. Ramsar site no. 1025. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Thanet Coast & Sandwich Bay. 28/07/94; England; 2,169 ha; 51º18’N 001º23’E. Special Area for Conservation, Special Protection Area, SSSI. A coastal site, consisting of a long rocky shore, adjoining estuary, dune, maritime grassland, saltmarsh, and grazing marsh. The site supports internationally important numbers of wintering turnstone Arenaria interpres, nationally important numbers of a breeding seabird, and four waders: ringed plover, golden plover, gray plover, and sanderling. Large numbers of migratory birds use the site for staging. Large numbers of nationally scarce invertebrate species occur at the site. Human activities include recreation, bait collection, agriculture, livestock grazing, fishing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 664. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

The Dee Estuary. 17/07/85; England, Wales; 14,302 ha; 53°18'08"N 003°12'56"W. Added to the Montreux Record, 4 July 1990. Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC), Local Nature Reserve; SSSI. The Dee is a large funnel-shaped sheltered estuary comprising extensive intertidal mud and sand flats, with large expanses of saltmarsh and sandstone islets providing high-tide roosts. It is one of the top ten estuaries in the UK for wintering and passage waterfowl populations, supporting internationally important numbers of waterfowl and waders. The estuary plays a very important role in shoreline stabilisation and dissipation of erosive forces, sediment trapping and water supply. The two shorelines of the estuary show a marked contrast between the industrialised usage of the coastal belt in Wales and residential and recreational usage in England. The site was subject of Ramsar Advisory Missions in 1993 and 1994 due to several adverse factors affecting its ecological character: pollution, overfishing, introduction of invasive species, and general disturbance from transport and industrial activities. Since then, management plans have been developed and implemented, though some of the threats remain. Ramsar site no. 298. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

The Mersey Narrows and North Wirral Foreshore. 05/07/2013; England; 2,078 ha; 53°25'N 03°11ʹW. Nature Reserve, SSSI, Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). Located on the Irish Sea coast of north-west England, on the mouths of the Mersey and Dee estuaries, the site comprises large areas of saltmarsh and extensive intertidal sand and mud flats, with limited areas of brackish marsh, rocky shoreline and boulder clay cliffs, along a rural and industrial stretch of coast. The intertidal flats are internationally important feeding grounds for waders: the site regularly supports more than 20,000 waterbirds, including 2.4% of the Calidris canutus islandica population and 2.8% of the Limosa lapponica population. The wetland provides ecosystem services including shoreline stabilisation and dissipation of erosive forces, sediment trapping and water supply. The potential threats to its ecological character derive from increasing recreational activities and social and economic pressures to return the foreshore back to sandy beaches, and sedimentation of the foreshore which reduces the available low-tide feeding habitat and causes vegetation succession. The adjacent land is dedicated to agriculture and urban development as well as nature conservation and scientific research and monitoring. Recreational activities include bird watching, walking, fishing, sailing, canoeing, cycling and kite surfing, all carried out at intensive levels. There is a visitor centre at Seaforth Nature Reserve. Ramsar Site no. 2202. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

The New Forest. 22/09/93; England; 28,003 ha; 50º50’N 001º39’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; SSSI. An extensive complex of woodland, dry and wet heath and over 90 valley mires, associated seepages and peatlands situated on acidic and nutrient-poor soils. Pools in the heath-mire matrix contain nutrient-enriched water supporting a species-rich assemblage of plants. Several species of plants, invertebrates and birds occurring at the site are rare, vulnerable, endangered or nationally scarce. The site is important for breeding, feeding and roosting birds characteristic of the heathland environment and wintering raptors, with up to 15 Circus cyaneus feeding or roosting in the area. Human activities include tourism, recreation, and increased development around the periphery. The decline in livestock grazing has caused a reduction in the floral diversity. Ramsar site no. 622. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

The Swale. 17/07/85; England; 6,515 ha; 51º22’N 000º50’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve, SSSI, Environmentally Sensitive Area, Local Nature Reserve. An extensive complex of mudflats, saltmarsh and freshwater grazing marsh, an estuarine channel, and areas of shingle, shell and sand beaches and mussel beds. The saltmarshes and mudflats support a high species diversity of plants and invertebrates, including several nationally rare species. The area is of national importance for various breeding, passage and wintering ducks and waders, and regularly supports internationally important numbers of numerous species of wintering waterbirds. Ramsar site no. 299. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

The Wash. 30/03/88; England; 62,212 ha; 52º56’N 000º17’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve, SSSI, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Local Nature Reserve. A vast intertidal embayment incorporating one of the largest and most important areas of estuarine mudflats, sandbanks and saltmarsh in Britain. Counts of wintering waterbirds reach 320,673 individuals and include nationally and internationally important numbers of numerous species, notably up to 17,000 passerines (perching songbirds). The site is also of outstanding international importance for passage birds, notable waders, and supports various breeding birds, an important shell fishery, and the largest breeding colony in Europe of the seal Phoca vitulina. Adjoining land is used for intensive agriculture, and includes several localized industrial and residential zones. There are few public access points. Ramsar site no. 395. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Thursley and Ockley Bog. 14/02/94; England; 265 ha; 51º10’N 000º42’W. National Nature Reserve, SSSI. The site is a valley mire complex which occurs within a matrix of heathland, where drainage is impeded, and a deep layer of peat has built up from the remains of bog-moss Sphagnum spp. which forms much of the vegetation. Several areas of open water also contribute to the overall diversity of the site, ranging from acidic boggy pools and ditches to large ponds. It supports rare wetland invertebrates, six native reptile species, and nationally important breeding populations of Caprimulgus europaeus and Lullula arborea. Human activities include nature conservation, recreation, fishing, and military activities. Ramsar site no. 647. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Turmennan Lough. 10/06/02; Northern Ireland; 15 ha; 54°23'N 005°43'W. ASSI. A valley mire, transitional between fen and bog, characterized by a broad range of surface conditions, ranging from slightly base-rich to markedly acidic, influenced by the position of the ground water table in the surface peat layer. The main plant community of the mire surface is an extensive mixed sedge sward dominated by Bottle Sedge Carex rostrata, growing over a carpet of brown mosses that are replaced by Sphagnum bog mosses where the water is more acidic. The diversity of wetland habitats support a rich invertebrate community that includes notable water beetles and several locally distributed species of Odonata. Livestock grazing is the principal land use in the area. Ramsar site no. 1178.Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Upper Lough Erne. 04/03/97; Northern Ireland; 5,818 ha; 54º12’N 007º30’W. SSSI, National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive. The site, set in a basin bordering the Republic of Ireland, is a particularly good example of a nutrient-rich lake and associated swamp, fen and wet grassland. A very large and complex freshwater system, it includes a series of islands, bays and many lakes bordered by damp pastures. Vegetation consists of reedbeds, alder and willow carr, and oak woodland. Internationally important numbers of wintering Whooper Swan, Cygnus cygnus, use the site regularly. Human activities include tourism, recreation, research activities, fishing, hunting, and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 896. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits. 07/04/11; England; 1,358 ha; 52°20'04''N 000°34'56''W. Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Natura 2000 (SPA). A chain of both active and disused sand and gravel pits including open water, reed swamps, marshes, pastures and grasslands. The range of habitats and the varied topography of the lagoons regularly provide valuable resting and feeding conditions for more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds, especially ducks and waders. The site is important for flood control, and human activities include recreation (bird-watching, walking, fishing, sailing, canoeing, waterskiing, cycling), research and environmental education. Potential threats to the site include urban development, vegetation succession, and invasive plants such as Nuttall's Pondweed Elodea nuttallii. There is a visitor centre at Stanwick Lakes. Ramsar Site no. 2023. Most recent RIS information: 2011.

Upper Solway Flats & Marshes. 01/10/86; England, Scotland; 43,637 ha; 54º54'N 003º25'W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve, SSSI, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Bordering Scotland, the extensive flats and marshes form one of the largest and most important continuous areas of intertidal habitat in Britain. The site exhibits an outstanding display of vegetational transition from seaward edge communities through grassy saltmarsh to mature marsh. The estuary is internationally important for numerous species of wintering waterbirds, whose numbers reach 121,325 individuals and include the entire Svalbard breeding population of the goose Branta leucopsis. The site is a vital estuary link used by various migrating waders, and the area is used for recreation, fishing, and grazing. Extended 30/11/92 from the former Ramsar Site Rockcliffe Marsh. Ramsar site no. 341. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Walmore Common. 05/12/91; England; 53 ha; 51º50’N 002º22’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. Improved and unimproved grassland dissected by a network of drainage ditches and subject to intermittent seasonal flooding. The common is grazed by cattle during the summer months and is surrounded by improved grassland. The site regularly supports nationally or internationally important numbers of wintering Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans) and waders. Ramsar site no. 538. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Westwater. 27/11/95; Scotland; 50 ha; 55º45’N 003º24’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. An artificial reservoir providing part of the region’s water supply. The site supports internationally important numbers of wintering Pink-footed Geese Anser brachyrhynchus, among various other wintering waterbirds. Human activities include recreation, fishing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 780. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Wicken Fen. 12/09/95; England; 254 ha; 52º18’N 000º17’E. National Nature Reserve, SSSI. The site acts as a flood catchment area, thus the water level is regulated, and it includes dikes and abandoned clay pits. The mosaic character of the vegetation is due to extensive peat cutting and differing systems of crop exploitation. Areas subject to frequent cutting have a higher species diversity. Vegetation includes various types of rushes, sedges, and marsh orchids with corresponding insect associations. Waterbirds frequenting the site are mallards, teal, wigeons, shovelers, pochards, and tufted ducks.The site supports an appreciable assemblage of wetland plants and invertebrates. Human activities include nature conservation and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 752. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Woodwalton Fen. 12/09/95; England; 208 ha; 52º27’N 000º11’W. National Nature Reserve, SSSI. A range of wetlands that includes several types of open fen and swamp communities, a relict area of acid peat, and an important network of ditches. The site supports an appreciable assemblage of wetland plants and invertebrates, including two species of nationally rare plants, fen violet Viola persicifolia and fen wood rush Luzula pallescens, and a large number of wetland invertebrates, including 20 nationally rare species. Aquatic beetles, flies and moths are particularly well represented. Human activities include research and agricultural activities. Ramsar site no. 753. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Ythan Estuary & Meikle Loch. 30/03/98; Scotland; 314 ha; 57º20’N 001º57’W. SSSI. The site is a combination of inland wetlands and marine and coastal wetlands. The area is a waterfowl wintering ground and supports well over 20,000 waterfowl. The main activities in the area include nature conservation, recreation, fishing, rough or shifting grazing. Ramsar site no. 939. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

UNITED KINGDOM (CROWN DEPENDENCIES)

Alderney West Coast and the Burhou Islands. 24/08/05; States of Alderney, Bailiwick of Guernsey; 15,629 ha; 49°43'N 002°15'W. Protected Zone. Comprises the western coast of Alderney and adjacent shallow waters and islets in the strongly tidal, high-energy system of the northern Channel Islands. It includes diverse and inter-related ecosystems such as sandy beaches with shingle banks, marine subtidal aquatic beds, rockpools, sandbars, and pebble beach and rocky marine shores, including sea cliff and rocky offshore islands. The rocky islets are a very important bird breeding place. A large nesting population of northern gannets are established on the Garden Rocks and Ortac with about 11,900 individuals. It also provides habitat for a seal colony to the north of Burhou Island and some fish and shellfish species such as e.g. lobsters, bass and plaice. The site hosts about 100 species of seaweeds, which play very a important role in supporting all the marine fauna and thus the large nesting bird population. A Land Use Plan protects the terrestrial part of the area within the site, including intertidal rock formations. Besides commercial and non-commercial fishing, tourism is the main activity: there is a visitor centre which provides both educational measures for children and information materials for the general public. Common visitor activities are birdwatching, walking and rockpooling over the summer months. Ramsar site no. 1587. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Ballaugh Curragh. 06/09/06; Isle of Man; 193 ha; 54°19'N 004°31'W. SSSI. A complex mosaic of interrelated peatland habitats dominated by grey willow and birch scrub locally known as 'curragh'. Of particular significance is the presence of wet bog woodland, natural dystrophic ponds, Molinia meadows on peaty soils, and especially the purple moor-grass-dominated fen pastures with good populations of marsh orchids. Amongst the high diversity of breeding birds the site also supports the threatened Corncrake Crex crex, which is ascribed to the continuing presence of traditionally managed farmland. The biodiversity of the site is known to have contributed to its cultural importance as an early settlement, and hence to its considerable value as an archaeological resource. Thus Ballaugh Curragh forms a culturally-defined area of the Isle of Man as well as a distinct wetland, and as such has provided valuable archaeological and palynological (spores and pollen) records. The presence of impressive numbers of winter hen harrier Circus cyaneus and traditionally-managed meadows with summer displays of thousands of orchids attracts visitors both for bird-watching and the popular 'orchid tours' run by the Manx Wildlife Trust. Ramsar site no. 1642.

Les Écréhous & Les Dirouilles, Jersey. 02/02/05; Bailiwick of Jersey; 5,459 ha; 49°18'N 001°58'W . The site consists of two reefs which form an extensive shoal area on the east of the Channel Island of Jersey. At high tide only a group of rocky heads and an islet, Le Maitre Isle, are uncovered -- at low tide various habitats are exposed, including reefs, boulder fields, sandy shores and shingle banks. The tidal range can exceed 12 meters. The area is fed clean well-oxygenated water, and this factor, together with the range of habitats and the site's biogeographical position, supports a wide range of rich and diverse biotopes and some unusual species assemblages. The flora and fauna is characterised by limit-of-range species at the northern and southern margins of their distributions. These areas are important nursery zones for shore and shallow sublittoral fish communities. A small population of grey seals Halichoerus grypus and one of the largest breeding populations of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the British Isles are recorded in the area. Fishing within the site is of great cultural, social and traditional importance to the population of Jersey. Ramsar site no. 1455. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Les Minquiers, Jersey. 02/02/05; Bailiwick of Jersey; 9,575 ha; 48°58'N 002°07'W. An extensive shoal area lying 34 km due south from the Channel Island of Jersey. At high tide only rocky heads and a small supralittoral area are exposed. At low tide various habitats are uncovered exposed, including reefs, boulder fields, sandy shores and shingle banks. The areas of shallow water and the large number of intertidal channels and pools within the site provide habitat for many species of fish, sponge and ascidian communities. Likewise the rich infaunal communities of the mud and sand flats are important for their range of mollusc and worm species. The combination of biogeographic location, the strong tidal streams, a wide variety of wave energy conditions and physical features provide ideal conditions for the support of a wide diversity of organisms and enhance biodisparity. Different locations within the site support a number of species of wintering and passage waders and wildfowl with feeding and roosting locations. Fishing within the site is of great cultural, social and traditional importance to the population of Jersey. Ramsar site no. 1456. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Les Pierres de Lecq (the Paternosters), Jersey. 02/02/05; Bailiwick of Jersey; 512 ha; 49°18'N 002°12'W. An extensive reef uncovered at low tide, lying off the northwest coast of Jersey - with one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, sometimes exceeding 12 metres, only four heads are exposed at high tide. Due to the wide range of substrata and wave exposure, the site has a diverse range of habitats, communities, and species. The topographical diversity of biogeographic location, oceanographic circulation, and physical features of the site provide conditions favouring recruitment of planktonic larvae, and the large number of intertidal rocky platforms and diverse algal assemblages are important to many invertebrate and vertebrate organisms, providing shelter, protection and food for both larval and adult stages. These areas are important nursery zones for shore and shallow sublittoral fish communities. The overlap between the cold and warm temperate marine biogeographical regions promotes increased species richness. Among the most important fish species are Acipenser sturgo, Hippocampus hippocampus, and Salmo salar. The Jersey Island Plan 2003 includes a presumption against most kinds of development and ensures the sustainable use of the marine environment. Ramsar site no. 1457. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Lihou Island and L'Erée Headland, Guernsey. 01/03/06; Bailiwick of Guernsey; 427 ha; 49°28'N 002°40'W. Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI). Comprising several coastal areas on the west coast of the island of Guernsey, including the shingle bank Les Anguillieres and the western end of L'Erée Headland as well as the small northwestern Lihou Island and surrounding marine coastal areas. Within a relatively small area there is an amazing variety of interesting habitat types including rocky, gravelly and sandy shoreline, the sublittoral zone, coastal grassland, saltmarsh, reedbed and saline lagoon, as well as vegetated shingle banks, seagrass Zostera beds, and wet grassland, altogether supporting a rich diversity of animals and plants such as 214 different species of seaweed on the tiny shore around Lihou Island. The area also has a rich cultural heritage, with many important archaeological and historical remains. In summer the site offers very popular beaches for sunbathing and bathing at high tide as well as surfing and rockpooling at some places. Birdwatching is another well-liked activity which is supported by two bird hides at La Claire Mare. Integrated management plans are under development for different areas of the site. Ramsar site no. 1608. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

South East Coast of Jersey, Channel Islands. 10/11/00; Bailiwick of Jersey; 3,210ha; 49°09’N 002°02’W. Amongst the largest intertidal reef sites in Europe, this site 22km off the coast of France comprises various habitats: reefs, boulder fields, mud, sandy and shingle shores not covered by water at low tide, combined with shallow tidal lagoons, seagrass beds and a large number of outlying reefs. The maximum spring tide range of 12m exposes 17.5km2 of wave cut rock platforms, extensive areas of reef, and a complex system of soft substrate gullies. The site provides important winter habitat for waders and wildfowl and produces a rich and diverse range of biotopes and some uncommon species assemblages. It meets Criteria 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 for inclusion in the List - in regard to the Fish Criteria, because of the enormous water exchanges and substrate variability a wide diversity of species and life history stages are present. The flora and fauna is characterized by a number of limit-of-range species at both the northern and southern margins of their distributions. Fishing is of great cultural, social, and traditional importance to the population, and a wide range of non-exploitive recreational activity is very important within the site. Effects of inorganic waste disposal and sewage discharge are seen as potential threats. Ramsar site no. 1043. Most recent RIS information: 2000.

UNITED KINGDOM (OVERSEAS TERRITORIES)

Akrotiri. 20/03/03; Cyprus (Western Sovereign Base Area); 2,171 ha; 34°37'N 032°58'E. The largest aquatic system in Cyprus, located on Akrotiri Peninsula, the southernmost part of the island. Also listed as an Important Bird Area, the site is of a special European interest because it presents 11 natural habitat types listed in annex 1 of the European Commission Habitats Directive and 45 bird species included on Annex 1 of the EC Birds Directive, and it supports 13 endemic species of plant such as Ophrys kotschyi. It is composed of two distinct areas that are hydrologically connected - the first and largest area is the salt lake and sand flats situated in the centre of the peninsula. Over the past three centuries, this former lagoon has been isolated from the sea and a number of saltmarsh vegetation communities now surround the lake. A eucalyptus forest borders the northern side of the lake and is an important raptor roosting area. The second distinct area, northeast of the salt lake, is the Fassouri marshes made up of a matrix of freshwater habitat types, including grazing marsh and reedbeds. Rain water is the key hydrological input for both areas, though the lake does get occasional input from the sea during storms. The site is part of the UK RAF military Sovereign Base Area; a management plan is under development with local stakeholders. Ramsar Site no. 1375. [Ramsar mission to the site.] Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Bertha's Beach. 24/09/01; 4,000 ha; 51°55’S 058°25’W. Sandy beach on the northern shore of Choiseul Sound, East Falkland, connecting former islands to the mainland, and surrounding marine waters. The site is a good representative example, in relatively natural state, of several different wetland habitat types found along this coast, including shallow marine waters, kelp beds, rocky shores, peatlands, and coastal freshwater lagoons, as well as tussac vegetation on two islands. The site supports appreciable numbers of threatened fauna and flora. The endemic Falkland Steamer Duck (Tachyeres brachydactyla) and several endemic subspecies, such as Upland Goose, Kelp Goose, and Tussacbird, are also present. Breeding Southern Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens) and colonies of Gentoo Penguins (Pygoscelis papua) are supported at a critical stage in their biological cycle (Criterion 4). Direction Island, 1km offshore and part of the site, presents a magnetic anomaly which affects ships’ compasses and caused the wreck of the Norwegian barque Bertha in 1892, thus naming the site. Livestock grazing is practiced in the area, and overgrazing is a potential problem as elsewhere on the islands. Disturbance caused by construction and military activities has decreased markedly in recent years, and the farm manager and military authorities control access to the site. Ramsar site no. 1103. Most recent RIS information: 2001. [Note: On 24 October 2001, the Argentine Republic made a diplomatic protest to this designation.]

Booby Pond & Rookery. 21/09/94; Cayman Islands; 82 ha; 19º40’N 080º04’W. The site is a representative example of a coastal, landlocked, mangrove-fringed saline lagoon system of a kind that is widespread among low-lying islands in the region. It contains a breeding colony of approximately 7,000 Red-footed Boobies (Sula sula) which accounts for at least 30% of the total Caribbean population. Human activities include tourism, fishing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 702.

Diego Garcia. 04/07/01; British Indian Ocean Territory; 35,424 ha; 07º19’S, 072º28’E. Diego Garcia is the southernmost atoll of the Laccadive-Maldives-Chagos atoll chain. The archipelago has an exceptionally low level of pollution and provides a standard for measuring the impact of human pressures on other coral reef systems. The part of the atoll which is not included in the Ramsar site is the area which, under a 1976 UK/USA agreement, is set aside for military uses as a US naval support facility. The site qualifies for the List under 7 of the 8 Ramsar Criteria and is a particularly good example of a relatively unpolluted coral reef system in a near-natural state, of special value for maintaining the genetic and ecological diversity of the region, especially its marine life. It provides habitat for marine flora and fauna at critical stages of their biological cycles, including the threatened Hawksbill and Green Turtles, and regularly supports 20,000 or more waterbirds, including Greater frigate, Red-footed boobies, brown and lesser noddies, amongst others. A feral cat eradication programme is under way and a rat eradication programme is planned. The site’s international importance is legally recognized in the BIOT Conservation Policy Statement (1997) which specifies that it will be managed in accordance with the requirements of the Convention subject only to defense requirements. Ramsar site no. 1077. Most recent RIS information: 2001.

Gough Island. 20/11/08; St Helena, Tristan da Cunha; 229,811 ha; 40º19’S 009º56’W. World Heritage Site, Nature Reserve, Important Bird Area, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels. The site includes Gough Island and surrounding territorial waters. Gough Island is one of the largest relatively unmodified cool temperate island ecosystems in the southern hemisphere. Important wetland types include non-forested peatlands, permanent freshwater pools, permanent streams, marine subtidal aquatic beds and rocky marine shores. The island is a strong contender for the title of the most important seabird colony in the world – a total of 22 bird species and two species of seals breed, some in very large numbers. Several bird species that breed on Gough are considered globally threatened (e.g., Sooty Albatross, Northern Rockhopper Penguin), and some are endemic to the island group (e.g., Gough Moorhen, Gough Bunting, Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross). The South African meteorological station is currently run on the island; other human activities include research, commercial fishery for Tristan Rock Lobster in Gough territorial waters, and limited recreational fishing under license. Ramsar site no. 1868. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

Hungry Bay Mangrove Swamp. 11/05/99; Bermuda; 2 ha; 32º16’N 064º45’W. Nature Reserve. A tidal mangrove swamp (Bermuda’s largest) in a shallow sea bay with a relatively narrow opening to the sea. It has the longest continuous sequence of mangrove peat layers in the Atlantic. The site supports important populations of endangered native crabs (Cardisoma guanhumi, Cenobita clypeata), crustacean species, and wintering birds (Nyctanassa violacea, Ceryle alcyon). Tidal channels are used for boat traffic. Ramsar site no. 987. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Inaccessible Island. 20/11/08; St Helena, Tristan da Cunha; 126,524 ha; 37º18’S 012º41’W. World Heritage Site, Nature Reserve, Important Bird Area, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels. The site includes Inaccessible Island and surrounding territorial waters. Inaccessible Island is a near-pristine cool temperate island of volcanic origin. A total of 24 species of seabirds and land birds as well as the Subantarctic Fur Seal breed there, some in very large numbers. Non-forested peatlands and rocky marine shores are critical to the survival of the breeding populations of Tristan Albatross (relict population of 2-3 pairs) and Spectacled Petrel (island endemic), and Northern Rockhopper Penguin and Sooty Albatross, respectively, all of which are globally threatened. Other important wetland types include permanent freshwater pools, permanent streams and marine subtital aquatic beds. There is no permanent human population – from time to time small numbers of researchers and conservation management teams visit the island. Commercial fishery for Tristan Rock Lobster and limited recreational fishing under license take place in Inaccessible’s territorial waters. Ramsar site no. 1869. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

Lover’s Lake Nature Reserve. 11/05/99; Bermuda; 2 ha; 32º21’N 064º42’W. A 2m-deep lake fringed with predominantly black mangroves. The water level is tidal and rises and falls via subterranean channels. The site is important for an endemic killifish (Fundulus relictus) and both wintering and passage waterfowls, especially Podilymbus podiceps and Ceryle alcyon. Ramsar site no. 989. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

North, Middle & East Caicos Islands. 27/06/90; Turks & Caicos Islands; 58,617 ha; 21º45’N 071º45’W. Nature Reserve. Extensive coastal site including prime examples of the main wetland habitats found on the Islands. Consists of intertidal algal flats and submerged banks, salt ponds, mangrove swamps, lagoons, sinkholes, and marshland. The site provides important feeding areas for waterbirds, habitat for the endangered sea turtle, and nursery grounds for fish. Flamingos feed and breed in the salt ponds and offshore limestone islands act as refuges for iguanas. The area is important for Dendrocygna arborea, probably numbering fewer than 1,000 pairs in the Caribbean. Tourism is an important industry in the islands. As of 2002, a management plan is in development with community support under a Darwin Initiative project. Ramsar site no. 493.

Paget Marsh. 11/05/99; Bermuda; 11 ha; 32º16’N 064º46’W. The largest surviving remnant of Bermuda’s pre-colonial swamp forest inclusive of mangrove swamp (with Rhizophora mangle) and peat marsh forest (Juniperus bermudana and Sabal bermudana). The area is of limited importance for waterfowl, however Butoroides virescens and Gallinula chloropus occur on passage and in winter. Ramsar site no. 990. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Pembroke Marsh East. 11/05/99; Bermuda; 8 ha; 32º17’N 064º46’W. Nature Reserve. The site is an extensive freshwater Typha and Cladium marsh with some open water channels up to 3m deep. It supports juvenile populations of certain fish species (Gambusia affinus) and a wide variety of passage and wintering waterfowl (Gallinula chloropus, Podilymbus podiceps, Botaurus lentiginosus). The former landfill site is now being restored. Ramsar site no. 988. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Sea Lion Island. 24/09/01; 1,000 ha; 52°25’S 059°05’W. An isolated island 17km off the southern tip of East Falkland, Ramsar’s second southernmost site, notable as an important breeding site for Southern Sea Lion (Otaria byronia) and Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina). Despite a history of sheep ranching, the extent and condition of stands of Tussac Grass (Paradiochloa flabellata) are particularly good. Shallow marine waters, seagrass beds, both rocky and sandy shores, brackish lagoons, freshwater pools, and peat bogs are all present within the site. Vulnerable and endangered birds such as Cobb’s Wren (Troglodytes cobbi) and Ruddy-headed Goose (Chloephaga rubidiceps) are supported, and a number of endemic bird species breed there, as do Gentoo, Rockhopper, and Magellanic Penguins and Southern Giant Petrel. A lodge with 15 beds is available for wildlife tourists, and a small number of tourists make day visits by boat and helicopter, causing no disturbance. Ramsar site no. 1104.Most recent RIS information: 2001. [Note: On 24 October 2001, the Argentine Republic made a diplomatic protest to this designation.]

Somerset Long Bay Pond. 11/05/99; Bermuda; 1 ha; 32º17’N 064º51’W. A former tidal swamp that was filled in as a garbage dump and then restored into a brackish to freshwater pond with mangrove islets, separated from the sea by a beach dune. It is a low-lying sandy/peaty back beach area. The site supports Red and Black Mangrove and provides habitat for the Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) and American Coot (Fulica americana). The site is used for tourism. Ramsar site no. 985. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Spittal Pond. 11/05/99; Bermuda; 10 ha; 32º18’N 064º43’W. Nature Reserve. The only Bermuda example of a non-tidal permanent shallow brackish lagoon with fringing mudflats and salt marshes, subject to periodic sea flooding with mudflats exposed at low water levels. Bermuda’s most important wetland for wintering waterfowl (Egretta caerulea, Podilymbus podiceps, Anas rubripes) and shorebirds (Tringa Limnodromus). Ramsar site no. 984. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Warwick Pond. 11/05/99; Bermuda; 2 ha; 32º16’N 064º48’W. Bermuda’s largest freshwater pond with mudflats at the north end and a broad fringing marsh. Good example of natural small island wetland. Important for the only freshwater adapted population of endemic Killifish (Fundulus bermudae). The most important mudflat for passage shorebirds (16 species including Charadrius semipalmatus and Tringa melanoleuca) on Bermuda. Ramsar site no. 986. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Western Salt Ponds of Anegada. 11/05/99; British Virgin Islands; 1071 ha; 18º43’N 064º19’W. The site comprises tidal mudflats, mangrove, and brackish saline lagoons. The shallow lagoons support a re-introduced flock of Caribbean flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber) and a fishery based on mullet fish (Mugil cephalus), while the endemic and endangered Anegada Rock Iguana (Cyclura pinguis) lives in the surrounding shrubbery. Human activities include tourism and fishing. Ramsar site no. 983. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,187 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,608,257

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