Northumbria Coast

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Northumbria Coast

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    1,108 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    55°18'N 01°32'W
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


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.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • sssi
  • Regional (international) legal designations: 
    • EU Natura 2000
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)