The Mersey Narrows and North Wirral Foreshore

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The Mersey Narrows and North Wirral Foreshore

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    2,078 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    53°25'N 03°08'W
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The Mersey Narrows and North Wirral Foreshore. 05/07/2013; England; 2,078 ha; 53°25?N 03°11?W. Nature Reserve, Site of Special Scientific Interest, Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). Located on the Irish Sea coast of north-west England, on the mouths of the Mersey and Dee estuaries, the site comprises large areas of saltmarsh and extensive intertidal sand and mud flats, with limited areas of brackish marsh, rocky shoreline and boulder clay cliffs, along a rural and industrial stretch of coast. The intertidal flats are internationally important feeding grounds for waders: the site regularly supports more than 20,000 waterbirds, including 2.4% of the Calidris canutus islandica population and 2.8% of the Limosa lapponica population. The wetland provides ecosystem services including shoreline stabilisation and dissipation of erosive forces, sediment trapping and water supply. The potential threats to its ecological character derive from increasing recreational activities and social and economic pressures to return the foreshore back to sandy beaches, and sedimentation of the foreshore which reduces the available low-tide feeding habitat and causes vegetation succession. The adjacent land is dedicated to agriculture and urban development as well as nature conservation and scientific research and monitoring. Recreational activities include bird watching, walking, fishing, sailing, canoeing, cycling and kite surfing, all carried out at intensive levels. There is a visitor centre at Seaforth Nature Reserve. Ramsar Site no. 2202. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • Nature Reserve
    • Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Regional (international) legal designations: 
    • Other international designation
    • EU Natura 2000
  • Last publication date: 


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