Ribble Estuary

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Ribble Estuary
Ribble Estuary NNR

Ribble Estuary NNR

Ribble Estuary NNR is the most important site in the UK for wintering wildfowl. The reserve occupies over half of the total area of the Ribble estuary, including extensive areas of mud and sand flats and almost all of the saltmarsh habitat - one of the largest single areas of saltmarsh in England.
In light of its importance the reserve has been declared a Ramsar site and a Special Protection Area (SPA).
The estuary provides an important link in the chain of wetland sites in western Europe, supporting over 100,000 ducks, geese and swans. In the winter the site is home to around 150,000 waders and is an internationally important refuge for 16 bird species.
In the summer the saltmarshes support large numbers of breeding birds including black-headed gull, herring gull, lesser black-backed gull, common tern and redshank. Skylark, meadow pipit and linnet nest in significant numbers on the grazing marsh.
Management of the site involves grazing the saltmarsh with cattle and sheep to maintain the short sward on which wintering wildfowl (especially wigeon and pink-footed geese) depend.
To download a leaflet describing this site, click here.

Ribble Discovery CentreRibble Discovery Centre
The RSPB’s Ribble Discovery Centre is packed with interactive information about the wildlife of the Ribble Estuary. With its prime location, on the side of Fairhaven Lake in Lytham St Annes, the centre helps to inspire thousands of people, residents and visitors, about the wonderful wildlife that the estuary supports and explains why the estuary is so important.
The centre’s CCTV camera helps to give a window onto the estuary, allowing you to view the birds at the water’s edge. There is also has a small gift shop.
Tel: 01253 796292 for opening times and events.

or click here for further information from the RSPB
Hesketh Out MarshHesketh Out Marsh
This salt marsh reserve is a new place to visit and to admire the wildlife of the estuary. It's a great spot to see the gathered pink-footed geese, wigeons, teals and other wildfowl in winter, along with big flocks of golden plovers, lapwings and black-tailed godwits. In spring the marshes are alive with the sight and sound of displaying waders, including avocets and lapwings. You can access the site from public footpaths and use the viewing platform close to the small car park.

The site has had an interesting history. In the 1980's this natural saltmarsh was drained to provide arable agricultural land and was used to grow crops until 2006. Returning the land to salt marsh, saline lagoons and muddy creeks, provides improved habitat for breeding waders and has created the first new reserve for the Ribble Coast and Wetlands Regional Park.

Hesketh Out Marsh is at the end of Dib Road, off Shore Road, Hesketh Bank.

Click here for a Location Map
Bird photographs from Ribble Estuary
Bird video from Ribble Estuary
Ribble Estuary Twitter
Ribble Estuary blogs and links
Ribble Estuary local services
Ribble Estuary Birding walks

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