Benfleet and Southend Marshes

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Benfleet and Southend Marshes
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Estuarial mudflats at Leigh-on-Sea - geograph.org.uk - 778899.jpg
Area of SearchEssex
Grid referenceTQ854847
InterestBiological
Area2099.7 hectares
Notification1987
Location mapMagic Map
Designations
Official nameBenfleet & Southend Marshes
Designated14 February 1994
Reference no.648[1]

Benfleet and Southend Marshes is an 8.1-square-mile (21 km2) Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Essex. It consists of mudflats, salt marshes, scrub and wild grassland, and includes the Southend-on-Sea foreshore. It has been so recognised for its biological (including ecological) value, rather than geological.[2][3] A definition five percent larger forms the Benfleet and Southend Marshes Ramsar site[4] and Special Protection Area.[5][6] In the centre-west, more than ten percent of the Site is the Leigh National Nature Reserve (NNR),[n 1][7][5] which has been appraised in detail in A Nature Conservation Review as a site of national importance.[2] The SSSI and NNR include the eastern half of Two Tree Island, in Leigh on Sea which is managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust.[7][8] A narrow majority of the Site is the Southend on Sea Foreshore Local Nature Reserve.[n 2][9][10]

The marshes and mudflats have internationally important numbers of wildfowl and wading birds, including the dark-bellied brent goose, grey plover, redshank and red knot. Scarce invertebrates, such as the white-letter hairstreak and marbled white butterfly, have adapted to specific habitats in the marshes.[2]

Notes and References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 257.5 hectares
  2. ^ 1083.9 hectares

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Benfleet & Southend Marshes". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Benfleet and Southend Marshes citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Map of Benfleet and Southend Marshes". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands: Benfleet and Southend Marshes" (PDF). Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Magic map". Natural England. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Benfleet and Southend Marshes" (PDF). Special Protection Areas under the EC Birds Directive. Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Essex's National Nature Reserves". Natural England.
  8. ^ "Two Tree Island". Essex Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Southend on Sea Foreshore". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. 27 February 2013. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Map of Southend on Sea Foreshore". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 19 November 2015.