Spread the Word, Save our Birds

Help birds on the Stour and Orwell Estuary this winter.

Many visitors to the Stour and Orwell Estuaries may not be aware that they are Special Protection Areas (SPAs). This means they have been classified as designated areas of protection for wild birds and their habitats. Sadly, over the last 15 years, the Stour and Orwell Estuaries have experienced a decline in a number of different birds.

The Stour and Orwell Estuaries provide a valuable place for many migrating birds throughout the year, and during winter are a vital area for feeding over the winter months.

This winter, visitors to the estuaries are being encouraged look out for birds including Grey Plover, Redshank, Black Tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Pintail, Dark-bellied Brent goose and Knot, and take note of their behaviours. At high tide provides a window for feeding while many birds rest at high tide. Disturbing birds at these times means they may take to the wing and not take the opportunity to feed and rest as much as they need. If birds become too unsettled in their habitat, they may not return to sites on the estuary again.

Visitors to the area are being asked to follow a few simple tips to ensure the birds keep returning to the area for many years to come.

• Try and stay on marked paths where possible especially when walking dogs off the lead
• Make a note of the tide level and what the birds may be doing
• Avoid walking too close to feeding or resting birds
• See how many birds you can identify on the estuary
• Share the importance of looking out for the birds with your friends and neighbours

Download our leaflet to take with you on a walk or to keep handy to talk to your family about.

By Cathy Smith on December 6th, 2019