The Solent European Marine Site

The Solent EMS is a complex cluster site encompassing a major estuarine system. The site contains two Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
  • Solent Maritime SAC
  • Solent and Isle of wight Lagoons SAC
And three Special Protection Areas (SPA)
  • Solent and Southampton Water SPA
  • Chichester and Langstone Harbours SPA
  • Portsmouth Harbour SPA
The Solent, its inlets and lagoons are a unique feature in Europe due to the complex tidal regime of the area. The site provides protection for a range of internationally important Annex 1 habitats and associated sub-features along with bird interest features and their supporting habitats which include:
  • Estuarine habitat
  • Atlantic salt meadow
  • Intertidal mud and sand flats
  • Sub-tidal sandbanks
  • Coastal lagoons
  • Sub-tidal muddy sand communities
  • Sub-tidal gravelly sand
  • Internationally important regularly occurring Annex 1 bird species and migratory bird species
  • Internationally important waterfowl assemblages
    • Seagrass
    • Intertidal sediments
    • Shallow coastal waters
    • Boulder
    • Cobble
    • Mixed sediment shores
Further information on the sites can be found in the Conservation Advice Packages for each site produced by Natural England: Solent Maritime SAC, Solent and Isle of Wight Lagoons, Solent and Southampton Water SPA, Portsmouth Harbour SPA and Chichester and Langstone Harbours SPA
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