At the heart of our work is the need to compensate for the impact of port operations and expansion, balancing commercial activities with the needs of other port and harbour users, the interests of the local community, and the protection and enhancement of the natural environment.

The Stour and Orwell form one of the world’s most beautiful estuaries. The area is recognised at both national and European levels for the importance of its environment and wildlife, in a number of European designations. Both rivers have the European SPA (Special Protection Area) designation and the UK SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) designation.

Creating a harmonious environment

The Haven port operations and the environment successfully co-exist, based on our proactive strategy and the work we undertakes to protect the environment. Ongoing monitoring demonstrates that the presence of port operations is not leading to losses in either SPA or SSSI areas.

Some of the Haven’s ‘headline’ environmental projects, such as the creation of Trimley Marshes intertidal habitat, date back to the major capital dredge of the deepwater channel in 2000. The deepwater expansion at Felixstowe in 2011 created a renewed focus on the impact of major port developments, with additional mitigation and monitoring work being put in place.

Working in partnership

Our commitment to the environment is very much an ongoing, day-to-day matter. It involves close liaison and cooperation with wildlife groups, NGOs and governmental agencies; constant monitoring and measurement of water quality, silting and erosion; regular counts of bird numbers; and systematic monitoring of plant and wildlife.

Partnership is central to our environmental commitment. We work closely with Natural England, the Environment Agency, RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), Essex Wildlife Trust, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the Inshore Fishery and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs), which regulate commercial fishing.

As well as maintaining close liaison and cooperation with wildlife groups, NGOs and governmental agencies, we work with community groups and with the Haven ports to monitor, protect and improve the environment within our area of jurisdiction..