Ribble Estuary Nature Reserve

Lytham & District Wildfowlers are proud to be part of the extension of the Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve, England’s 3rd largest NNR! It is also nice to get recognition for the incredible hard work that our members put in on the marsh.

“Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve (NNR) extended to give greater protection to more than a quarter of a million migrating water birds.

Natural England has today [9 December] confirmed that one of the most important sites in Britain for water birds – the Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve (NNR) in Lancashire – has been extended by nearly a fifth.

The additional areas of internationally important saltmarsh and newly created wetland habitats now added to the NNR, bolstering the nature reserve’s impressive stature as the third largest in England at 5,231 hectares.

The NNR is one of Britain’s most important sites for water birds, with many rare and threatened species breeding or wintering there each year. Over a quarter of a million migrating water birds gather on the marshes each winter, including the iconic sight and sound of tens of thousands of pink-footed geese that migrate to the estuary from Greenland and Iceland during the autumn. The Ribble Estuary is also an important site for declining birds including lapwings, ringed plovers, sanderling, and redshanks, as well as being one of the UK’s strongholds for water voles.

Today’s declaration is a result of a partnership of many landowners and stakeholders across the estuary – including Natural England, The RSPB, and LDWA – who have collaborated to secure greater protection and management for the Ribble Estuary’s rich habitats.

Andrew Cash, Chairman of Lytham and District Wildfowlers Association (LDWA), said:

LDWA are proud to have been custodians for more than 35 years of 200 plus hectares on the north bank of the Estuary, the last 25 of these within the Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve. Working in close conjunction with Natural England and its predecessors, the area has become increasingly a haven for breeding and overwintering birds, and other fauna and flora, and a nationally recognised model of good saltmarsh management and conservation.

LDWA are pleased, as part of the extension of the Nature Reserve announced today, to have dedicated a further 100 plus hectares of its land, to ensure the future protection and improvement of the Association’s landholdings under the agreed management regime for the enlarged area.

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