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Special Protection Areas (SPAs) with marine components (all UK waters) 2022


This resource contains boundary, site and feature information for Special Protection Areas (SPAs) with marine components in UK waters. A shapefile and spreadsheet are available for download.

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) with "marine components" protect bird species that are dependent on the marine environment for all or part of their lifecycle, where these species are found in association with intertidal or subtidal habitats within the site. More information on SPAs with marine components can be found on our website. SPAs with marine components are a subset of the UK's full suite of SPAs – data for all UK SPAs can also be downloaded from our website.

JNCC collates boundary and attribute data on Special Protection Areas (SPAs) on behalf of the Country Nature Conservation Bodies (CNCBs) to create a dataset of inshore and offshore sites across the UK. The shapefile dataset contains site boundaries and associated site attribute information, including: site code, site name, site status, country and CP2 region. The spreadsheet dataset provides the same site attribute data as well as information on the sites' protected features (including species name and population type).

Please note:

  • the CNCBs periodically update SPA boundaries (e.g. when natural features of the coastline shift position) and these subtle changes may not be captured in JNCC’s datasets. For the latest inshore SPA boundaries, please visit the relevant CNCB website.

  • the recommendations of Third SPA review are at different stages of implementation in the UK, therefore the marine interest features of inshore SPAs (listed in the spreadsheet) may not be up-to-date. To obtain the latest lists of qualifying interest features formally adopted in inshore SPAs, please contact the relevant CNCBs. The features of offshore SPAs are fully up-to-date.

For further information please see the shapefile metadata and spreadsheet read-me (within the files).

Resource type Dataset

Topic category Boundaries

Reference date 2022·03·15

Recent updates: Version 20220316: Addition of Scapa Flow SPA and North Orkney SPA. Correction to the boundary of Rum SPA. Version 20210222 (spreadsheet only): Correction of Solway Firth SPA features to include Sanderling, Ruddy turnstone, and Eurasian teal. Version 20201214: Addition of 9 new SPAs – Seas off St Kilda SPA, Seas off Foula SPA, Outer Firth of Forth and St Andrews Bay Complex SPA, Bluemull and Colgrave Sounds SPA, Coll and Tiree SPA, East Mainland Coast Shetland SPA, Moray Firth SPA, Sound of Gigha SPA, West Coast of the Outer Hebrides SPA. Full details are included in the metadata (shapefile) or version control table (spreadsheet).

Responsible organisation
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC distributor

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Re-use of the data is subject to the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 including attribution of the relevant copyright holders. If you re-use this information you must acknowledge the source in your product or application by including or linking to the following attribution statement: Contains Joint Nature Conservation Committee data © copyright and database right [2020]. Contains Natural England data © copyright and database right [2020]. Contains Scottish Natural Heritage data © copyright and database right [2020]. Contains Natural Resource Wales data © copyright and database right [2020]. Contains Northern Ireland Environment Agency data © copyright and database right [2020]. Contains UK Hydrographic Office data © copyright and database right [2020]. Contains Ordnance Survey data © copyright and database right [2020].

Metadata date 2022·04·29

Metadata point of contact
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC

Temporal extent 2015·03·24 2022·02·16

Spatial extent
North 60.879088
South 50.078612
East 2.303333
West -8.717393
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