SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Alde–Ore Estuary

image: SPA location map 

 

The Alde-Ore Estuary is located on the Suffolk coast in eastern England. It comprises the estuarine complex of the rivers Alde, Butley and Ore, including Havergate Island and Orfordness. There is a variety of habitats including intertidal mud-flats, saltmarsh, vegetated shingle (including the second-largest and best-preserved area in Britain at Orfordness), saline lagoons and semi-intensified grazing marsh. The Orfordness/Shingle Street land form is geomorphologically unique within the UK in combining a shingle spit with a cuspate foreland. The diversity of wetland habitat types present is of particular significance to the birds occurring on the site as these provide a range of opportunities for feeding, roosting and nesting within the site complex. At different times of the year, the site supports notable assemblages of wetland birds including seabirds, wildfowl and waders. As well as being an important wintering area for waterbirds, the Alde-Ore Estuary provides important breeding habitat for several species of seabird, wader and raptor. During the breeding season, gulls and terns feed substantially outside the SPA. 
 
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;
 
Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, 104 pairs representing at least 17.6% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1990-1994)
 
Little Tern Sterna albifrons, 48 pairs representing at least 2.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 count mean, 1993-4,1996-8)
 
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus, 3 pairs representing at least 1.9% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1993-1997)
 
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis, 169 pairs representing at least 1.2% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean 1991-1995)
 
Over winter;
 
Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, 766 individuals representing at least 60.3% 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;
 
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, 21,700 pairs representing at least 17.5% of the breeding Western Europe/Mediterranean/Western Africa population (Count as at 1998)
 
Over winter;
 
Redshank Tringa totanus, 1,919 individuals representing at least 1.3% of the wintering Eastern Atlantic - wintering population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Assemblage qualification: A seabird assemblage of international importance
 
The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 seabirds
 
During the breeding season, the area regularly supports 59,118 individual seabirds (Count period ongoing) including: Herring Gull Larus argentatus, Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus, Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, Little Tern Sterna albifrons, Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis.
 
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 24,962 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa islandica, Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Shoveler Anas clypeata, Teal Anas crecca, Wigeon Anas penelope, Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons albifrons, Redshank Tringa totanus, Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta.

 


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.