Falmouth residents are being given the opportunity to feedback on the potential creation of a Special Protection Area (pSPA) in Falmouth Bay.

Natural England is inviting feedback on the proposed site, which during the winter months attracts three important species of bird. The area, which would stretch from Falmouth Bay to St Austell Bay, sees the great northern diver, black-throated diver and Slavnian grebe migrate to the proposed site.

Falmouth Harbour Commissioners has been working closely with Natural England to better understand the potential impacts of designation on port activities and plan to respond as part of the consultation process. As a result of ongoing discussions, a working agreement has been signed between FHC and Natural England to facilitate further research and to ensure that any management measures proposed are supported by robust science.

The proposed Falmouth Bay to St Austell Bay pSPA seaward boundary extends between four and 13 km offshore and covers the marine environment between Nare Point in the west and Gribbin Head in the east, including intertidal parts of the Helford River and Fal complex.

Harriet Knowles, environment manager, Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, said: “After having constructive discussions about the proposed special protection site we’re really pleased to be working collaboratively with Natural England to ensure that there will be an appropriate balance in the management process should the designation be confirmed. We are encouraged that Natural England has concluded that current port activities pose low risk to the bird species. We are encouraging all those who have an interest in using the harbour to participate in the consultation exercise.”

For more information about the consultation, which is open until 14th April 2014, and to submit a response, please visit: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/conservation/designations/spa/falmouth-staustell-consultation.aspx