Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve, SSSI, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Local Nature Reserve. A vast intertidal embayment incorporating one of the largest and most important areas of estuarine mudflats, sandbanks and saltmarsh in Britain. Counts of wintering waterbirds reach 320,673 individuals and include nationally and internationally important numbers of numerous species, notably up to 17,000 passerines (perching songbirds). The site is also of outstanding international importance for passage birds, notable waders, and supports various breeding birds, an important shell fishery, and the largest breeding colony in Europe of the seal Phoca vitulina. Adjoining land is used for intensive agriculture, and includes several localized industrial and residential zones. There are few public access points.
This site is currently under consideration for inclusion in the new UK MPA network. Having marine components does not automatically qualify a site to be part of the new MPA network. As such, the marine components of this site, as well as the management efforts, are being evaluated. Check out our MPApedia page on the UK for more information!