Dengie (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 1) SPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

This site is on the coast of Essex in eastern England. It is a large and remote area of tidal mud-flats and saltmarshes.  Over the winter months it is an area that hen harriers, wildfowl and waders flock to. This is an integral component of the phased Mid-Essex Coast Special Protection Area (a type of Marine Protected Area). 

MPA Type

Special Protection Area

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites designated uner European legislation. They are established to protect rare and vulnerable birds and for regularly occurring migratory species.

Designation date

1 March 1994

Surface Area

31.33 km2 (12.10 mi.2)

Perimeter

43.24 km (26.87 mi.)

Coordinates (central point)

51° 41' 31" North, 0° 57' 18" East

  • Waterfowl assemblage

    Important areas where a number of waterfowl species occur in significant numbers.

  • Red knot (Calidris canutus)

    A dumpy, short-legged, stocky wading bird that depends on the rich source of worms and shellfish in estuaries. Large numbers come to the UK in the winter.

  • Grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

    A widely distributed shorebird that prefers sandy and muddy estuaries.

  • Dark-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla bernicla)

    A small dark goose which occurs in good numbers at just a few sites in the UK. They are vegetarian and particularly partial to seagrass.

  • Hen harrier (Circus cyaneus)

    The UK’s most intensively persecuted bird of prey. While they spend the summer on heaths and moors they head out to some coastal marhes in winter.

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

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Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

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