SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Benfleet and Southend Marshes

image: SPA location map 

 

Benfleet and Southend Marshes are located on the north shore of the outer Thames Estuary in southern England. The site comprises an extensive series of saltmarshes, cockle shell banks, mud-flats, and grassland that supports a diverse flora and fauna. The productive mud-flats, cockle shell banks and diverse saltmarsh communities provide a wide range of feeding and roosting opportunities for internationally important numbers of wintering wildfowl and waders. 

 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


 

This site qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
 
On passage;
 
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, 800 individuals representing at least 1.6% of the Europe/Northern Africa - wintering population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Over winter;
 
Dark-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla bernicla, 3,819 individuals representing at least 1.3% of the wintering Western Siberia/Western Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, 3,789 individuals representing at least 2.5% of the wintering Eastern Atlantic - wintering population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Knot Calidris canutus, 8,850 individuals representing at least 2.5% of the wintering Northeastern Canada/Greenland/Iceland/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 34,789 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, Knot Calidris canutus, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, Dark-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla bernicla.

 


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.