The UK names the Firth of Forth

The UK names the Firth of Forth

24 December 2001
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Crown dependencies)

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The Bureau is delighted to announce that the Government of the United Kingdom has designated Scotland's Firth of Forth (6,314 hectares, 56°01’N 002°53’W) for the List of Wetlands of International Importance, effective 30 October 2001, probably the last major estuary in the UK not yet included in the List. Simultaneously listed as an SSSI and SPA, the site is 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.