IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
The shingle beach on the seaward side of the reserve photographed in 2009
|Location||Cumbria, United Kingdom|
South Walney is one of two nature reserves on Walney Island, England. The nature reserve has an area of 130 ha. It has been managed by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust since 1963. The reserve is notable for:
The reserve is the home of the Walney Bird Observatory which collates bird records from across the island. Around 300 species of bird have been recorded on Walney Island since the foundation of the bird observatory in 1964.
South Walney and Piel Channel Flats are designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for biological and geological interest. The SSSI includes the South Walney part of the Walney Island Geological Conservation Review Site. The SSSI is contiguous with two other SSSIs:
Both the Duddon Estuary and Morecambe bay have been designated Special Protection Areas (a protected area under the European Union Birds Directive). In 2016, before the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, there were consultations on a proposal that Morecambe Bay and Duddon Estuary be combined in a new SPA. The combined SPA would include a marine extension west of Walney Island to protect foraging areas of terns. This marine extension is not to be confused with the "West of Walney" Marine Conservation Zone (designated in January 2016), which is some kilometres from the coast.