The Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Estuaries

Status: protected


Dunlin (Credit Damian Waters)Dunlin (Credit Damian Waters)

Blue mussel and ross worm are found here, these important reef building species provide nooks and crannies for other marine species.

The tiny Lagoon Sea Slug is found here.

This site was designated in 2013 to protect the intertidal sediment habitats found here as well as to provide protection for the native oyster beds.

Located as part of the wider Outer Thames Estuary the River Blackwater is the largest tidal river in Essex. It consists of a mosaic of habitats including subtidal and intertidal sands, gravels, mud and mixed sediment.

It is this mosaic of habitats that provides a home for a wide range of species including the rare and vulnerable native oyster; this important species provides a key habitat that supports a range of associated species.

Blue mussels and ross worms are also important reef building species. Their structures create what is known as a biogenic reef which provides nooks and crannies for many other species to live within.

The Blackwater Estuary is also the only area in the South of England that is home to the tiny lagoon sea slug (Tenellia adspersa).

Other nearby sites:

Medway Estuary

Location map:

Contains UKHO Law of the Sea data. Crown copyright and database right and contains Ordnance Survey Data Crown copyright and database 2012