Why is the Duddon Estuary so special? What makes it different from other similar places? How is it classified? For all who do not know, this area is one of the most natural estuaries that you can find the UK and all over the world. Since rare species of flora and fauna live there, a set of special protections have been applied in order to preserve its diversity. There are many reasons why this area is popular and important and you can read that in the following text and find out everything about it. Our plan is to protect this place and keep in intact!
The Duddon Estuary, nestling between the Lakeland fells and the Irish Sea, is a dynamic and diverse environment. The expanses of sand and mud flats laid down by retreating glaciers thousands of years ago are constantly reworked by the tides providing unique and varied habitats. To protect this unique estuary it is designated as a:
The Duddon Estuary is an important wildlife site in Europe, in 1998 it was designated as an Special Protection Area (SPA) and later as a Special Area of Conservation (SACs). The areas of seashore and sea form the Duddon Estuary European marine site. Part of the Morecambe Bay European marine site reaches into the southerly section of the Duddon Estuary. To make it easier to manage, the Duddon Estuary SPA and the section of the Morecambe Bay SAC (North of Jubilee Bridge, Barrow in Furness) is dealt with as one geographical unit in the European marine site management scheme. More information can be found on the Morecambe Bay Partnership website who kindly provide information for both the Duddon Estuary and Morecambe Bay.
Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
Sites protected under the European Bird’s Directive are chosen where they support rare, endangered, migratory or large numbers of birds, or their supporting habitats.
Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)
Sites have been chosen where they support rare, endangered or outstanding natural habitats and, or, species of European importance. Any SAC or SPA which includes sea or shore is known as a European marine site.
Why is the Duddon Estuary so Important?
The whole of the Duddon Estuary is special, everyone who lives and works around the estuary will be aware of its beauty, charm and importance for the area. There are some of the estuary’s habitats and species that are of particular significance. The most important ones are referred to as interest features in the European designation.
These birds depend on the presence within the estuary of several marine and terrestrial habitats, which are internationally important in their own right. It is important that these habitats are maintained for the future. The habitats identified as being important are:
How will all these interest features be protected?
Under the Habitats and Birds Directives, the relevant authorities around the Duddon Estuary have responsibility for the conservation and management of the European marine site. To continue to ensure protection of the estuary the relevant authorities formed a management group to develop and implement a management scheme. The scheme looks at all the activities that take place in the estuary to see how they affect the interest features, and suggests actions that can be taken to stop damage being done. It is renewed annually.