The Wash


Site overview: This site is located on the east coast of England and is the largest estuarine system in the UK. It is fed by the rivers Witham, Welland, Nene and Great Ouse that drain from much of the east Midlands of England. The intertidal flats here are full of small worms, along with beds of glasswort which act as a food source for a large numbers of waterbirds. This is also a breeding ground for shellfish including mussels, cockles and shrimps. These provide food for oystercatchers. Large numbers of geese, ducks and waders live here, both in spring and autumn. Over half of the total population of Canada/Greenland breeding knots live here.


Designation Status
Designated
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Special Protection Area
MPA Purpose
areas of the most important habitat for rare (listed on Annex I to the Directive) and migratory birds within the European Union



Coordinates

52° 56' 18" North,
0° 17' 18" East

Surface Area

620.55 km2
(239.59 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site

Habitat

  • Marine areas, Sea inlets
  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins)
  • Salt marshes, Salt pastures, Salt steppes

Species

  • Ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Sanderling (Calidris alba) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Little tern (Sterna albifrons) (Annex I (species))
  • Eurasian wigeon (Anas penelope) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) (Annex I (species))

Assemblage

  • Waterfowl assemblage

Species

  • Common tern (Sterna hirundo) (Annex I (species))
  • Common redshank (Tringa totanus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Red knot (Calidris canutus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Dunlin (Calidris alpina alpina) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa islandica) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Black (common) scoter (Melanitta nigra) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Common shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Northern pintail (Anas acuta) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Dark-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla bernicla) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Gadwall (Anas strepera) (Regularly occurring migratory species)