Shore crab eating clam (Credit Paul Naylor)
The sand is home to millions of small creatures from tiny snails and worms to shellfish and crabs.
Sand flats here are essential to the survival of over wintering birds .
The feature of conservation importance found in this recommended MCZ is smelt - a small fish species essential to the local food web.
The Ribble Estuary is a fascinating place. The site is made up of an estuary that results in saltmarsh where river meets sea. This habitat is important countrywide as it provides a nursery ground for fish to mature and reach a size that will improve their chances of reaching breeding age. Saltmarsh is formed by grasses and plants that are highly tolerant of salt and can thrive even when they are often submerged by the tide.
The Ribble estuary also provides a huge extent of sand flats that are essential to the survival of overwintering birds that rest and feed here during the winter months, before returning to the colder extremes of the North.
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Other nearby MCZs
Ribble Estuary recommended MCZ is located in the map below.
Contains UKHO Law of the Sea data. Crown copyright and database right and contains Ordnance Survey Data Crown copyright and database 2012
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