Skip to main content Skip to main navigation

About the Birds

The Essex coastline stretches for just over 350 miles, extending from the Thames Estuary in the south, northwards to the port of Harwich and the Stour Estuary. The coastline is extremely diverse and features a variety of habitats and environments, which include mud-flat, saltmarsh, grazing marsh, sand and shingle spits, shell banks and offshore islands, disused gravel pits and reedbeds.  These habitats provide feeding and roosting opportunities for the large numbers of waterbirds that use the Essex coast.

Most of the Essex coast is designated under the UK Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (the 'Habitats Regulations') as part of the European Natura 2000 network, a series of sites across Europe. For the purposes of this Strategy this means Special Protection Areas (SPA), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Ramsar sites. A key purpose of these designations is to protect internationally important numbers of breeding and non-breeding birds and their coastal habitats.

Information in this section on the bird species is taken from the RSPB and Wildlife Trust websites.