Alde-Ore Estuary

Site overview: This site is on the Suffolk coast in eastern England. It is made up of the estuarine complex of the rivers Alde, Butley and Ore, including Havergate Island and Orfordness. Mud-flats, saltmarsh, saline lagoons and semi-intensified grazing marsh are all found here. A large bed of shingle, known as the Orfordness/Shingle Street landform is in this site, and it is unique within the UK. During winter, birds such as wetland birds including seabirds, wildfowl and waders come here to feed and shelter. This area is especially important because several species of seabird, wader and raptor nest here.

Designation Status
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


52° 6' 35" North,
1° 32' 38" East

Surface Area

24.02 km2
(9.27 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site


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


  • Little tern (Sterna albifrons) (Annex I (species))
  • Common redshank (Tringa totanus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis) (Annex I (species))
  • Lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Eurasian marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) (Annex I (species))
  • Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) (Annex I (species))
  • Pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) (Annex I (species))