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Location United Kingdom, East Anglia
Central coordinates 1o 37.56' East  52o 18.13' North
IBA criteria B2, B3, C6
Area 2,212 ha
Altitude 0 - 21m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description The IBA covers a complex of habitats, including one of the largest intact reedbeds (Phragmites) in the UK. The site also includes the tidal Blyth estuary, and areas of brackish lagoon, lowland heathland and woodland. The site supports a rich diversity of breeding, wintering and passage species, and is noted for breeding Recurvirostra avosetta.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris breeding  2006  9 males only  good  C6  Least Concern 
Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus breeding  2006  13 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta passage  2001-2006  87 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  2001-2006  463 individuals  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  2006  206 breeding pairs  good  B3, C6  Least Concern 
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus breeding  2001  2 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  2000  19 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus breeding  2004  44 males only  good  C6  Least Concern 
Wood Lark Lullula arborea breeding  2006  28 males only  good  C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 high very unfavourable high
Population
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - small dams happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - nutrient loads happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Botaurus stellaris Eurasian Bittern 8 9 males only 100 favourable
Circus aeruginosus Western Marsh-harrier 7 13 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Recurvirostra avosetta Pied Avocet 105 206 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Sternula albifrons Little Tern 28 7 breeding pairs 25 very unfavourable
Caprimulgus europaeus European Nightjar 24 44 males only 100 favourable
Lullula arborea Wood Lark 19 28 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  high 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Minsmere RSPB Reserve 1,005 protected area overlaps with site 738  
Minsmere - Walberswick Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 2,019 protected area contained by site 2,019  
Minsmere-Walberswick Birds Directive 2,019 protected area contained by site 2,019  
Minsmere-walberswick Heaths and Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest 2,327 protected area contains site 2,212  
Suffolk Coast Heritage Coast 0 protected area overlaps with site 1,577  
Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve 0 protected area overlaps with site 865  
Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 40,300 protected area contains site 2,146  
Walberswick National Nature Reserve 514 protected area contained by site 514  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland  -
Shrubland Heathland; Scrub  -
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland) Salt marshes; Sand dunes and beaches; Shingle or stony beaches; Standing brackish and salt water; Standing freshwater; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Minsmere - Walberswick. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014

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