Alde, Ore and Butley Estuaries SAC

Status: Designated


Site overview

This estuary site is made up of three rivers, it is relatively wide and shallow with saltmarshes along the edges. Water quality is excellent throughout and the area is relatively natural, being largely undeveloped with very limited industrial activity. 

MPA Type

Special Area of Conservation

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are strictly protected sites designated under European legislation. They contribute both to the UK MPA network and set up to protect habitat types and species considered to be most in need of conservation at a European level (excluding birds).

Designation date

1 January 2001

Surface Area

16.32 km2 (6.30 mi.2)


83.44 km (51.85 mi.)

Coordinates (central point)

52° 7' 5" North, 1° 32' 10" East

  • Atlantic salt meadows (Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae)

    Areas with specially adapted plants found in the upper reaches of saltmarshes that are not always reached by the tide. The habitat is used for grazing, but is also very important for birds.

  • Estuaries

    The downstream part of a river, where it nears the sea, which is influenced by the tide These complex habitats can include areas always submerged by the tide as well as those exposed at low tide. They can be exceptionally important feeding and breeding ar

  • Intertidal mudflats and sandflats (Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide)

Did you know?…

Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas

Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers