Changes reported in distribution of birds on Stour and Orwell estuaries

Over the past 15 years Harwich Haven Authority (HHA) has been carrying out bird counts to monitor the wintering birds feeding on the mudflats and saltmarshes of the estuaries.

Recently, HHA has worked with Natural England in a joint-funded project to review the numbers and study the changes in the distribution of birds across the estuaries. The project represents the first steps towards pinpointing areas of concern low waters of the rivers Stour and Orwell, and to find and address the potential cause of changes in the distribution of species.

The data has since been published and will be used by the Stour and Orwell Estuary Management Group to consider the next steps.

“HHA takes great pride in its contribution to the environmental stewardship of the Stour and Orwell estuaries,” said Neil Glendinning, CEO, Harwich Haven Authority. “It is gratifying to be able to offer the results of our studies to assist the estuaries management group in their work to protect these important habitats.”

Sarah Dawkins, Norfolk & Suffolk Area Manager, Natural England, commented:

“The Stour and Orwell estuaries are home to some of England’s most important ports and wildlife sites. Natural England recognises the importance of balancing these needs. We welcomed the exciting opportunity to work with Harwich Haven Authority on this report. We look forward to working collaboratively with the local Estuary Group to collectively use this information to enable sustainable growth alongside the sensitive management and enjoyment of the wonderful wildlife of these estuaries.”