The Severn Estuary is one of the largest estuaries in Europe and has the second largest tidal range on the planet, making it one of the great natural wonders of the world.
Designated an Special Area of Conservation in 2009 for its mud and salt flats, estuaries, pastures and lagoons, it also supports populations of wild birds of European importance - for which it was designated a Special Protection Area in 1995.
The Severn Estuary boasts some of Europe’s finest natural habitats and species. The fast flowing, silty water has, over thousands of years, created an ecosystem unlike any other in the UK. The mud flats support huge densities of ragworms and lugworms, attracting birds and fish which migrate thousands of miles to feed here.More than 100 species of fish are found in the River Severn and its estuary. Large numbers of salmon and sea trout migrate each year into one of its eight tributary rivers.
The site also supports huge numbers of birds. More than 85,000 waterfowl over-winter here, including shelduck, white-fronted geese, wigeon, teal and pintails. Migrant species such as whimbrel and ringed plover are also found passing through in large numbers, stopping to refuel in the biologically-rich estuaries.