The formal public consultation relating to the Falmouth Bay to St Austell Bay potential Special Protection Area (pSPA) is coming to a close in two weeks.

Natural England, the Government’s statutory nature conservation adviser, is issuing a reminder to ensure members of the public and organisations take the opportunity to have their say.
The formal public consultation comes to a close at midday on Monday 21 July after an additional period of 14 weeks was announced to allow stakeholders time to read additional information published during the initial consultation.

We responded to feedback from stakeholders that it would be helpful to make the 2013 Vulnerability Assessment, which informed the Impact Assessment for the site, available to everyone to help inform contributions to the current consultation.

The Vulnerability Assessment identifies whether the pSPA bird species are at risk from activities currently taking place on the site (such as human activities). As a result of interest in the Impact Assessment for the pSPA, we recognise that making the VA more widely available will help all stakeholders and sea-users comment on the information in the Impact Assessment.

The following documents are available to download from our website:
• Falmouth Bay to St Austell Bay pSPA Vulnerability Assessmentexternal link
 Falmouth Bay to St Austell Bay pSPA Evidence-base for the Vulnerability Assessment

To note: the document entitled “TIN 120 – Establishing Marine SPAs” has been updated to reflect the revised process and is also available on the provided link.

Stakeholders have two more weeks to give us their views on the designation. All previous representations submitted will still be considered as valid responses and will be submitted to Government. However, if you feel the additional information provided in the VA documents would help modify a previously submitted response then please submit your amended/updated response by the 21 July 2014.

All consultation materials can be viewed hereexternal link

Notes to Editors:

1. Natural England is working as the Government’s statutory nature conservation advisor to identify and propose suitable areas of habitat to add to the network of Special Protection Areas.

2. All relevant documents can be found on the consultation pageexternal link.

3. The Birds Directive (EC Directive on the conservation of wild birds (2009/147/EC) requires member states to identify SPAs for rare or vulnerable bird species (as listed in Annex 1 of the Directive) and regularly occurring migratory bird species. All three species qualify on both counts.

  • Great northern diver, Gavia immer, is listed under Annex 1 of the Directive. Also known as the common loon (in the US), it is between 69 and 91 cm long with a wingspan of 127-147 cm. It is amber-listed bird of conservation concern in the UK. Widely distributed as a wintering bird, in England the main concentrations are in the south-west, particularly Cornwall. For more information please see our leaflet TIN130external link
  • Black throated diver, Gavia arctica, also known as the Arctic Loon in the US, is listed under Annex 1 of the Directive. Smaller than the great northern diver, at between 58 and 73 cm long with a wingspan of 110-130 cm the amber-listed bird is only present as a winter visitor, largely in inshore waters, with few further offshore or inland concentrated in south-west England, particularly Cornwall. See leaflet TIN 131external link
  • Slavonian grebe, Podiceps auritus, is listed under Annex I of the Directive. Also known as the horned grebe, it is between 31 and 38 cm long with a wingspan of 46-55 cm. Slavonian grebes have a broad global distribution, and are found across northern parts of Europe, America and Asia. The breeding range is largely within the subarctic zone of North America, Fennoscandia and Russia, where birds breed on small, shallow, fresh, brackish or slightly alkaline waters. A small number of breeding birds (30 pairs) are also present all year round in northern Scotland. Slavonian grebes are amongst the most marine of the grebe species outside the breeding season, when they will be found in coastal waters, as well as lakes or reservoirs. Winter distribution shifts south, including into UK waters. An estimated 1,100 birds are present in the UK over winter. Birds can be found all around the UK coast. See leaflet TIN164external link

For more information please contact: Heather Duncan, press officer, Natural England / 0300 060 0555 / 07775 410 141/ link