SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Humber Flats, Marshes and Coast

image: SPA location map 

 

Humber Flats, Marshes and Coast SPA is located on the east coast of England, and comprises extensive wetland and coastal habitats within the Humber Estuary. The estuary drains a catchment of some 24,240 square kilometres and provides the largest single input of freshwater from Britain into the North Sea. It has the second-highest tidal range in Britain (7.2 m) and approximately one-third of the estuary is exposed as mud- or sand-flats at low tide. The inner estuary supports extensive areas of reedbed with areas of mature and developing saltmarsh backed by grazing marsh in the middle and outer estuary. On the north Lincolnshire coast, the saltmarsh is backed by low sand dunes with marshy slacks and brackish pools. The estuary supports important numbers of waterbirds (especially geese, ducks and waders) during the migration periods and in winter. It also supports important breeding populations of terns and raptors in summer.
 
For more information see Phased, extended and subsumed SPAs  

 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
During the breeding season;
 
Little Tern Sterna albifrons, 63 pairs representing at least 2.6% of the breeding population in Great Britain
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus, 11 pairs representing at least 6.9% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at 1995)
 
Over winter;
 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, 1,593 individuals representing at least 3.0% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Bittern Botaurus stellaris, 2 individuals representing at least 2.0% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year mean 91/2-95/6)
 
Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, 29,235 individuals representing at least 11.7% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus, 20 individuals representing at least 2.7% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1984/5-1988/9)
 

This site also qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:

 

On passage;
 
Redshank Tringa totanus, 5,212 individuals representing at least 2.9% of the Eastern Atlantic - wintering population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Sanderling Calidris alba, 1,767 individuals representing at least 1.8% of the Eastern Atlantic/Western & Southern Africa - wintering population (2 year mean May 1993 - 1994)
 
Over winter;
 
Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, 23,605 individuals representing at least 1.7% of the wintering Northern Siberia/Europe/Western Africa population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Knot Calidris canutus, 33,848 individuals representing at least 9.7% of the wintering Northeastern Canada/Greenland/Iceland/Northwestern Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Redshank Tringa totanus, 4,452 individuals representing at least 3.0% of the wintering Eastern Atlantic - wintering population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, 4,083 individuals representing at least 1.4% of the wintering Northwestern Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 

 Assemblage qualification: A wetland of international importance.

 

The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 waterfowl
 
Over winter, the area regularly supports 187,617 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, Knot Calidris canutus, Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, Redshank Tringa totanus, Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Dark-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla bernicla, Bittern Botaurus stellaris, Teal Anas crecca, Curlew Numenius arquata, Pochard Aythya ferina, Goldeneye Bucephala clangula, Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Sanderling Calidris alba, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa islandica, Wigeon Anas penelope, Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus.


Note:

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
 
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.