Coastline and estuaries

Coastline and estuaries

Red Rocks Marsh Nature Reserve c. Carl Skepper

Cheshire has a short section of coastline around the Wirral peninsula, but its significance reaches far beyond its physical extent.

The Dee and Mersey estuaries are arguably our most important wildlife habitats, recognised nationally and internationally for their wildlife. The change in tides creates an assortment of habitats in estuaries. The sand and mudflats, dunes, marshes, beaches and saline lagoons which fringe our shores are the biological engines which fuel the biodiversity of the natural world.

Equally important, coastal habitats such as beaches form the foundation of major recreational and tourist economies, and can also play a crucial role in coastal defence, reducing the risk of flooding and damage to both people and terrestrial habitats.

When the tide is out mudflats are revealed, these are host to a great range of invertebrates burrowed into the mud and this provides a rich feeding site for waterfowl and wading birds. More than 120,000 waterfowl visit the Dee estuary annually

Salt marshes often provide grazing grounds for cattle and sheep making them economically important. In addition, the grassland provides feeding sites for wading bird species including snipe, redshank, lapwing and curlew.

The Dee estuaries is also important migratory routes for Atlantic salmon, swimming from the sea through the estuary to the freshwater rivers to spawn, and later in life for migration from nursery site to feeding grounds in the Atlantic Sea

Our Living Seas work in Cheshire is characterised by our role as hosts of the Tidal Dee Catchment Partnership which is working to secure good water quality for the Dee estuary.

Our reserve

Red Rocks Marsh

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Red Rocks Marsh Nature Reserve c. Carl Skepper

Our Work

Living Seas North West

Together with our fellow Wildlife Trust's in the North West we are committed to helping marine life thrive in our region and throughout the Irish Sea.

 

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Our work

Campaigning for Marine Protected Areas

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Sea urchin c. Paul Naylor http://www.marinephoto.co.uk/

Our wildlife

Natterjack toad

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Natterjack toad c. Philip Precey

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