email a friend
printable version
Location United Kingdom, East Anglia,South East
Central coordinates 1o 9.92' East  51o 57.40' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C3, C4
Area 3,670 ha
Altitude 0 - 15m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description The Stour estuary straddles the eastern part of the Essex/Suffolk border and comprises five main bays, whilst the Orwell is a relatively long and narrow estuary. Both estuaries support extensive mudflats and saltmarshes. The IBA supports important numbers of wintering waders and wildfowl.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola passage  2001-2006  2,329 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola winter  2001-2006  3,209 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula passage  2001-2006  856 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus passage  2001-2006  2,013 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  2,847 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  2001-2006  2,123 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  2001-2006  1,901 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata passage  2001-2006  1,382 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2001-2006  1,791 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres winter  2001-2006  773 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  2001-2006  6,361 individuals  good  B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina passage  2001-2006  5,743 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  2001-2006  10,290 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  2001-2006  30,747 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  58,573 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Orwell Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 1,336 protected area contained by site 1,309  
Stour and Orwell Estuaries Birds Directive 3,317 protected area contained by site 3,317  
Stour and Orwell Estuaries Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 3,324 protected area contained by site 3,324  
Stour Estuary RSPB Reserve 505 protected area overlaps with site 400  
Stour Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 2,248 protected area contained by site 2,154  
Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 40,300 protected area overlaps with site 2,255  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland  -
Grassland Humid grasslands  -
Wetlands (inland) Mud flats and sand flats; Salt marshes; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters  -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
nature conservation and research -
urban/industrial/transport -

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Stour and Orwell Estuaries. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/07/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife