This sandy estuary of the Duddon river stretches from Morecambe Bay to west Cumbrian coast, making it ideal for rare flora and fauna to exist. It has around 28 miles of shoreline and heads out directly to the Irish Sea and Walney Island on the southern part. Although it has been existing since the 12th century, the early settlements were preserved in small percentage. Some of the settlements that are placed along the Duddon estuary are: Haverigg, Millom, Fofield, Kirkby-in-Furness and Barrow-in-Furness.
It is important to say that this area is SSSI, which stands for Site of Special Scientific Interest. The reason for this is the diverse animal’s and plant’s world that you cannot find anywhere on our planet. When it comes to animals(fauna), one of the most rarest species of toad is living there: natterjack toad. This area ensures more than 1/5 of the whole natterjack toad population in the world, whereas only 50 sites in the whole UK hosts this specie. According to the studies, this specie of frog will continue to live here for the next 200 years.
Pintail, red knot, common redshank, along with shelduck, red-breasted mergansers, Eurasian oystercatchers, ringed plover, dunlin and Eurasian curlew are the main habitants of this area. As these birds are rare and designated as protected ones, it means that the estuary is one of the best and most diverse when it comes to protected species. Since 1998 when SPA regulation was applied, the population of these birds have been growing as our group worked on providing the safe and healthy breeding of these species.
When it comes to plants, we must say that you will find some of the rarest plants on the planet Earth. For this reason, the strong efforts of preservation are applied since 1998. Flora is very rich here as the climate is the perfect for these rare plants. Salt marsh, sand dunes, shingle vegetation are very rare so these plants are also designated as the protected ones. As this is a bit of remote area, there isn’t much of the people’s influence, however, we work on minimizing this as we want to keep this away from the human’s influence. The years of intact nature secured the breathtaking landscapes that will make you want to live there forever so helps us to keep it that way!