Humber Estuary

Site overview: This is the second-largest coastal plain estuary in the UK, and the largest coastal plain estuary on the east coast of Britain. It is a fed by the Rivers Ouse, Trent and Hull, Ancholme and Graveney. Within the estuary there are salt meadows, mudflats, and a range of sand. Lots of fish swim through this area including the river lamprey and the sea lamprey. Grey seals live here too.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Special Area of Conservation
MPA Purpose
areas which have been identified as best representing the range and variety within the European Union of habitats and (non-bird) species listed on Annexes I and II to the Directive


53° 37' 16" North,
0° 8' 18" West

Surface Area

366.74 km2
(141.60 mi.2 )


265.80 km
(165.16 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Atlantic salt meadows (Atlantic salt meadows (Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae))
  • Estuaries
  • Intertidal mudflats and sandflats (Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide)
  • Subtidal sandbanks (Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time)


  • Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus)
  • Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)


  • Glasswort and other annuals colonising mud and sand (Salicornia and other annuals colonising mud and sand)