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Location United Kingdom, North West
Central coordinates 2o 47.65' West  54o 10.04' North
IBA criteria C6
Area 129 ha
Altitude 15 m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description The IBA is situated between Silverdale and Warton on the edge of Morecambe Bay, and contains the largest reedbed (Phragmites) in north-west England. The site is important for breeding reedbed species and wintering wildfowl.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris resident  2004-2006  1 males only  good  C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 high very unfavourable medium
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - soil erosion, sedimentation happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Botaurus stellaris Eurasian Bittern 4 1 males only 25 very unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Not assessed  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 7,500 protected area contains site 129  
Leighton Moss Site of Special Scientific Interest 132 protected area contains site 129  
Leighton Moss Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 129 is identical to site 129  
Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay RSPB Reserve 1,812 protected area contained by site 129  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland  -
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Leighton Moss. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016

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