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Location United Kingdom, East Anglia
Central coordinates 1o 42.15' East  52o 23.03' North
IBA criteria B2, C6
Area 468 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description Reedbeds and other wetland habitats situated along the Suffolk coast just north of Southwold. The IBA includes ancient woodland, saltmarsh, shingle and sand-dune communities, and brackish and freshwater communities that inhabit coastal lagoons, reedbeds and the river valley. The cliffs and beach have geological and physiographical importance. The IBA holds a diverse assemblage of breeding and wintering species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus resident  2003-2007  8-15 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  2006  40 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 high favourable medium
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification wood and pulp plantations (includes afforestation) - small-holder plantations happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather storms and floods happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Energy production and mining renewable energy likely in short term (within 4 years) 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

Circus aeruginosus Western Marsh-harrier 4 12 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Benacre National Nature Reserve 372 protected area contained by site 408  
Benacre to Easton Bavents Birds Directive 517 is identical to site 468  
Pakefield to Easton Bavents Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) 735 protected area contains site 468  
Suffolk Heritage Coast 12,216 protected area overlaps with site 282  
Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 40,300 protected area contains site 468  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland  -
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland) Coastal lagoons; Fens, transition mires and springs; Shingle or stony beaches; Standing brackish and salt water; Water fringe vegetation  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Benacre to Easton Bavents. Downloaded from on 27/11/2014

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