Following the consultation on the proposed marine extension to the Outer Thames Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA) (please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/outer-thames-estuary-special-protection-area-extension-comment-on-proposals), Natural England submitted the Consultation Report to Government during the summer 2017. We wanted to write to let you know as a stakeholder with interest in the site, that the Secretary of State formally classified the proposed marine extension as a Special Protection Area (SPA) on 31st October 2017 in accordance with The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations, 2010 (now The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations, 2017 (SI 2017 No. 1012). Governments are progressing registration of the site and Natural England and relevant agencies will issue full formal stakeholder notification to all parties once this registration is complete. We expect the registration process to occur within the near future.
The extended SPA affords protection to foraging common tern and little tern, breeding in their colonies in adjacent SPA’s. Red throated diver is a feature of the original SPA and is retained within the new designation.