SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Nene Washes

image: SPA location map 

 

The Nene Washes are located in eastern England on one of the major tributary rivers of The Wash. It is an extensive area of seasonally flooding wet grassland ('washland') lying along the River Nene. The cycle of winter storage of floodwaters from the river and traditional summer grazing by cattle have given rise to a mosaic of rough grassland and wet pasture, with a diverse ditch flora. Areas of arable cropping provide some winter feeding areas for wildfowl. In summer, it is of importance for breeding waders, as well as Spotted Crake Porzana porzana, whilst in winter the site holds large numbers of waders and wildfowl. During severe winter weather elsewhere the site can attract waterbirds from other areas due to its relatively mild climate (compared with continental Europe) and abundant food resources. Likewise, the site can act as a refuge for wildfowl displaced by deep flooding of the nearby Ouse Washes SPA. In winter, some wildfowl, especially Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii, feed in surrounding areas of agricultural land outside the SPA. 

 


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;
 
Ruff Philomachus pugnax, 1 individuals representing at least 9.1% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at 1993)
 
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana, 5 individuals representing at least 10.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5-11 males = minimum)
 
Over winter;
 
Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii, 1,718 individuals representing at least 24.5% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Ruff Philomachus pugnax, 91 individuals representing at least 13.0% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
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:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa limosa, 16 pairs representing <0.1% of the breeding Western Europe/W Africa population (Count, as at 1992)
 
Over winter;
 
Pintail Anas acuta, 1,435 individuals representing at least 2.4% of the wintering Northwestern Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Shoveler Anas clypeata, 413 individuals representing at least 1.0% of the wintering Northwestern/Central Europe population
 
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 25,437 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa islandica, Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Pochard Aythya ferina, Teal Anas crecca, Gadwall Anas strepera, Wigeon Anas penelope, Shoveler Anas clypeata, Pintail Anas acuta, Ruff Philomachus pugnax, Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii

 


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.