This area encompasses the southern part of Belfast Lough and is of Special Scientific Interest primarily because of its fauna. It includes areas of intertidal foreshore, comprising of mudflats and lagoons, and land, both reclaimed and being reclaimed which form important feeding/roosting sites for significant numbers of wintering waders and wildfowl. Of particular note are redshank and oystercatcher.
Of similar proportional significance are the on-shore feeding populations of goldeneye and scaup which feed in the area at high water.
Several other species of wildfowl - including wigeon, mallard and teal and waders, including dunlin, ringed plover and bar-tailed godwit are also found in large numbers throughout much of the ASSI. In addition, Victoria Park Lake, although artificial in origin, is a good example of a brackish lagoon with some associated characteristic plant and animal species.
Inner Belfast Lough ASSI also contains a number of Earth Science Conservation Review (ESCR) sites exhibiting a range of Ordovician, Carboniferous and Permian features of national geological interest.
- ASSI Guidance for Public Bodies/Competent Authorities
- Coastal Areas of Special Scientific Interest
- Conservation Management Plans for Northern Ireland’s Special Areas of Conservation
- European Marine Sites - Marine Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas
- Management of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
- Marine Conservation Zones
- Marine Protected Areas
- Marine Ramsar sites
- Portrush Coastal Zone
- Special Areas of Conservation
- Special Areas of Conservation for Harbour porpoise
- Special Protection Areas