Consultation on Proposed Changes to Skokholm and Skomer Special Protection Area (SPA)

The existing SPA is made-up of Skokholm, Skomer and Middleholm islands which lie off the extreme south-west tip of Pembrokeshire in south-west Wales

The consultation is now closed:

Natural Resources Wales is in the process of considering and responding to the representations we have received. We will collate the consultation responses and present these to the Welsh Government. A summary of responses made to Natural Resources Wales will be made publicly available on the website in due course.

How will I find out about the decision?

The final decision will be made by the Welsh Minister for Natural Resources and Food on whether to make the changes to the SPAs. Natural Resources Wales will write to stakeholders, including those who have made representations, to inform them of the Minister’s decision and update the information on our website.

Existing Special Protection Area (SPA)

These islands support internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds.

For additional information on the existing site please see the Natural Resources Wales Skokholm and Skomer SPA web page with the existing map and Register of European Sites Entry which lists the qualifying species.

Proposed Changes to site

Formal advice to the UK government in a report known as the ‘2001 SPA review’ (Stroud et al. 2001) proposes changes to the list of qualifying species. The proposed additional qualifying species are chough (breeding), short eared owl (breeding), lesser black backed gull (breeding), as well as an assemblage of nearly 395,000 breeding seabirds.

Short eared owl is considered important to include as it is on the edge of the European population and is the only site in Wales.

In addition it is recommended that razorbill (breeding) be removed from the list of individual species of birds that meet the level to be considered in an SPA, although razorbill remain as part of the assemblage of breeding seabirds.

The 2001 SPA review itself does not recommend any boundary changes for these proposals to include the new birds. However, a further potential change to meet obligations under the European Council Birds’ Directive to identify the most suitable territories in the sea, is to extend the boundary of the SPA to include adjacent areas that are used by Manx shearwaters from within the existing SPA.

The site supports well over half the world’s population of breeding Manx Shearwaters.

The proposed boundary extension recommended by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is ‘by at least 4 km, and further where site specific data supports this’.

The proposed boundary extension to Skokholm and Skomer SPA is for a 4km extension seawards around the islands from the existing site boundary and would protect other species in the site such as puffin, guillemot and razorbill.

If you would like further information about the site please contact the local officer Andrea Winterton at Natural Resources Wales, Llanion House, Llanion Park, Pembroke Dock, SA72 6DY or contact the Customer Care Centre at Natural Resources Wales on 0300 065 3000

Drop-In Session

We realise you may have further questions and you are welcome to attend a drop-in session arranged by Natural Resources Wales to discuss face-to-face any queries you may have.

Skokholm and Skomer SPA
Local Authority: Pembrokeshire
Date and Time: Thursday, 20 February 2014 - From 13:30 to 20:00
Venue: Marloes Village Hall Marloes, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 3AZ
Area Contacts: Andrea Winterton /Alex Harding - Tel. 0300 065 3000
Regional office: Natural Resources Wales, Pembroke Dock, Llanion House, Llanion Park, Pembroke Dock, SA72 6DY

How to respond

An anonymised summary of responses received will be published on the Natural Resources Wales website after the end of the consultation period.

Please be aware that we may receive a request for a copy of the full consultation response report under the Freedom of Information Act or the Environmental Information Regulations and we may be asked to provide copies of individual responses, including the names and addresses of persons or organisations sending them. In such cases we have to decide whether to release that information or not, and if someone has asked for their name and address to be withheld we can take that into account in deciding whether to release that information.

Further information see Natural Resources Wales Freedom of Information policy.

Please send the Consultation Response Form by:


Email responses can be made by midnight 25 April 2014, with attachments, if required, up to a maximum of 20mb.


International Sites Team
Natural Resources Wales
LL57 2DW

Potential changes to Other SPAs in Wales

  • Glannau Aberdaron ac Ynys Enlli / Aberdaron Coast and Bardsey Island
  • Grassholm