Stour Estuary

Stour Estuary is a 2,523 hectare biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest which stretches from Manningtree to Harwich in Essex and Suffolk.[2][3] It is also an internationally important wetland Ramsar site,[4] a Special Protection Area[5] and a Nature Conservation Review site.[6] It is part of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,[7] and there are Geological Conservation Review sites in Wrabness,[8] Stutton,[9][10] and Harwich[11] Part of the site is managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds,[12] and a small area is Wrabness Nature Reserve, a Local Nature Reserve[13] managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust.[14]

The estuary is nationally important for thirteen species of wintering wildfowl and three on autumn passage, for coastal saltmarsh, sheltered muddy shores, two scarce marine invertebrates, scarce plants and three geological sites. Birds include redshank, black-tailed godwit and dunlin, and there are nationally important sponges, ascidians and red algae. Harwich has thirty ash layers dating to the Eocene Harwich Formation and the succeeding London Clay. Wrabness has the most complete succession of ashes showing the importance of volcanism in southern England in the early Eocene. Stutton has fossils dating to the mid-Pleistocene, including extinct mammals such as straight-tusked elephants, mammoths and giant deer.[2]

Stour Estuary
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Holbrook Creek and the Stour estuary - - 1602041
Area of SearchEssex
Grid referenceTM 180330
Area2,523 hectares
Location mapMagic Map
Official nameStour & Orwell Estuaries
Designated13 July 1994
Reference no.662[1]


  1. ^ "Stour & Orwell Estuaries". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Stour Estuary citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Map of Stour Estuary". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Designated and Proposed Ramsar sites in the UK and Overseas Territories & Crown Dependencies". Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Stour and Orwell Estuaries". Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  6. ^ Ratcliffe, Derek (1977). A Nature Conservation Review. 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 9. ISBN 9780521214032.
  7. ^ "Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan 2013 - 2018" (PDF). Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB. p. 76. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Wrabness (Tertiary Palaeobotany)". Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Stutton (Pleistocene Vertebrata)". Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Stutton (Quaternary of East Anglia)". Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Harwich (Tertiary Palaeobotany)". Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Stour Estuary". Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Wrabness". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Wrabness Nature Reserve". Essex Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 6 August 2016.

Coordinates: 51°57′14″N 1°10′26″E / 51.954°N 1.174°E

Colchester North (UK Parliament constituency)

Colchester North was a borough constituency in Essex, represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1983 until 1997. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. It was a safe Conservative seat throughout its existence.

Essex Way

The Essex Way is a waymarked long-distance footpath 81 miles (130 km) long, along footpaths and roads in Essex, England.

The trail starts in Epping in the southwest, crosses Dedham Vale and Constable country to finish at the port of Harwich on the Stour estuary.

It leads through ancient woodlands, open farmland, tree-lined river valleys and leafy green lanes, unveiling historic towns and villages along the way.The route is waymarked by Essex Way plaques and direction arrows. The original CPRE signs were dark green, but most of these have now been replaced with Essex County Council plaques depicting two poppies on a white background. These are attached to fingerposts, stiles, gates, footbridges and posts. The waymarks, together with the maps in the guidebook, make the walk easy to follow. The guidebook illustrates points of interest along the way and includes an accommodation guide for the whole route.


Harkstead is a village and civil parish in the county of Suffolk, England. The village is located on the northern bank of the River Stour estuary at Holbrook Bay, and is situated on the Shotley peninsula, around 7 miles (11 km) south of Ipswich. It is part of Babergh local government district.

Most of the civil parish south of the road between the nearby villages of Lower Holbrook and Erwarton lies within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The civil parish is bounded by the neighbouring civil parishes of Holbrook, Chelmondiston and Arwarton. Large areas of the civil parish are classified as Scheduled Monuments due to the presence of ring ditches, post-medieval field boundaries and later prehistoric or Roman field systems.

List of RSPB reserves

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is Europe's largest wildlife conservation charity.

This is a list of RSPB reserves.

List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Essex

Essex is a county in the east of England. In the early Anglo-Saxon period it was the Kingdom of the East Saxons, but it gradually came under the control of more powerful kingdoms, and in the ninth century it became part of Wessex. The modern county is bounded by Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Greater London to the south-west, Kent across the River Thames to the south, and the North Sea to the east. It has an area of 1,420 square miles (3,700 km2), with a coastline of 400 miles (640 km), and a population according to the 2011 census of 1,393,600. At the top level of local government are Essex County Council and two unitary authorities, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock. Under the county council, there are twelve district and borough councils.In England, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are designated by Natural England, which is responsible for protecting England's natural environment. Designation as an SSSI gives legal protection to the most important wildlife and geological sites. As of August 2016, there are 86 sites designated in Essex. There are 19 sites with a purely geological interest, and 64 listed for biological interest. A further three sites are designated for both reasons.

The largest is Foulness, which is internationally important for wildfowl and waders, and has 71 nationally rare invertebrate species. The smallest is Holland-on-Sea Cliff, a geological site which throws light on the course of the River Thames before it was diverted south by the Anglian glaciation around 450,000 years ago. Hangman's Wood and Deneholes has deneholes, shafts created by medieval chalk mining which are now used by hibernating bats. Lion Pit is the site of flint-knapping by Neanderthals around 200,000 years ago, and it has been possible to fit back together some of the flint flakes.

List of estuaries of England

The following is a list of estuaries in England:

Adur Estuary

Alnmouth Estuary

Alt Estuary

Arun Estuary

Avon Estuary

Axe Estuary

Beaulieu River

Blackwater Estuary

Blue Anchor Bay

Blyth Estuary

Breydon Water

Bridgwater Bay

Camel Estuary

Chichester Harbour

Christchurch Harbour

Colne Estuary

Coquet Estuary

Crouch-Roach Estuary

Cuckmere Estuary

Dart Estuary

Deben Estuary

Dee Estuary

Dengie Flats

Duddon Estuary

Eastern Yar

Erme Estuary

Esk Estuary

Exe Estuary

Fal Estuary

Fowey Estuary

Gannel Estuary

Hamford Water

Hayle Estuary

Helford Estuary

Humber Estuary

Inner Solway Estuary

Inner Thames Estuary

Langstone Harbour

Lindisfarne & Budle Bay

Looe Estuary

Lymington Estuary

Maplin Sands

Medina River

Medway Estuary

Mersey Estuary

Morecambe Bay

Newtown River

North Norfolk Estuary

Ore / Alde / Butley Estuary

Orwell Estuary

Otter Estuary

Oulton Broad

Ouse Estuary

Pagham Harbour

Pegwell Bay

Plymouth Sound

Poole Harbour

Portsmouth Harbour

Ribble Estuary

Rother Estuary

Salcombe and Kingsbridge Estuary

Severn Estuary

Southampton Water

Stour Estuary

Taw-Torridge Estuary

Tees Estuary

Teign Estuary

Thames Estuary

The Fleet and Portland Harbour

The Swale

The Wash

Tweed Estuary

Tyne Estuary

Wansbeck Estuary

Wear Estuary

Western Yar

Wootton Creek

Yealm Estuary

List of places in Suffolk

Map of places in Suffolk compiled from this list

This is a list of cities, towns and villages in the ceremonial county of Suffolk, England.


Mistley is a large village and civil parish in the Tendring district of northeast Essex, England. It is around 11 miles northeast of Colchester and is east of, and almost contiguous with, Manningtree. The parish consists of Mistley and New Mistley, both lying beside the Stour Estuary, and Mistley Heath a kilometre to the south. Mistley railway station serves Mistley on the Mayflower Line.

Mistley is the location of one of five Cold War control rooms in Essex. Built in 1951, it was opened as a museum called the Secret Bunker in 1996 but closed in 2002.A Roman road leading from Mistley to the nearby provincial capital of Roman Britain at Camulodunum (modern Colchester) has led to the suggestion that there may have been a port in the vicinity of the modern village which served the town in the Roman period.Mistley is the village where Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, was reputed to have lived, according to legend owning the Mistley Inn. He was buried a few hours after his death in the graveyard of the Church of St Mary.? From 1920–22 Rev Frank Buttle was rector of Mistley with Bradfield.

The village is home to Mistley Cricket Club, which plays its home games in New Road, next to the church. Both Mistley Football and Rugby clubs play at Furze Hill.

Oakfield Wood

Oakfield Wood is a 2.8 hectare nature reserve west of Wrabness in Essex. It is managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust.This is former farmland which is being converted into a "green burial ground", overlooking the Stour Estuary. A native broadleaved tree is planted for each burial with a wooden plaque at the base. When the burial ground is full, it will be managed by the trust as a nature reserve.There is access to the site carpark from Wheatsheaf Lane by a track which leads through Wrabness Nature Reserve carpark.

River Stour, Suffolk

The River Stour () is a river in East Anglia, England. It is 47 miles (76 km) long and forms most of the county boundary between Suffolk to the north, and Essex to the south. It rises in eastern Cambridgeshire, passes to the east of Haverhill, through Cavendish, Bures, Sudbury, Nayland, Stratford St Mary, Dedham and flows through the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It becomes tidal just before Manningtree in Essex and joins the North Sea at Harwich.

Sandwich Bay, Kent

Sandwich Bay is a long sweeping inlet of the sea between Ramsgate and Deal, on the east coast of Kent, England. The coastal area consists of sand flats with their associated salt marshes and coastal sand dunes. The Sandwich Flats stretch for about five miles (8 km) along the coast. The coastal habitats are of high ecological importance.

Most of the bay bears national and international nature conservation designations. These include the Sandwich Bay to Hacklinge Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the Sandwich Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC), the Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay Special Protection Area for birds (SPA), and the Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay Ramsar Site. The Southern Emerald damselfly (Lestes barbarus) was found here in 2003, only the second site in Great Britain at which this vagrant species had occurred. There are several Geological Conservation Review sites within the SSSI. The bay is also home to the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust and the Monk's Wall nature reserve.

The sand dunes at the top of the beach give way to the private road leading through Sandwich Bay estate. There is a daily toll on this road for non-resident motorists of £7.00 per car or £4.00 per motorcycle (2013) but cyclists and pedestrians pass for free, and charges only apply during the day, with the tolls closing around 6 pm. The road itself runs along on the top of a concealed sea wall separating the beach from the golf courses which back onto it. Via the toll road the beach is only 3–5 minutes from the historic Cinque port town of Sandwich. There are also scenic footpaths leading from the Quay in Sandwich, along the river and over the golf course on the dunes to the bay, which can take anything from 30 minutes to 1 hour to walk. Cycling over this route is not advisable due to the length of the path situated upon the dunes and golf-course, but the road route takes only 10 minutes by bicycle.

The beach at Sandwich Bay is largely shingle, and relatively steep in profile at points along its width, but the receding tide reveals some areas of sand. Towards the northern end of the beach Sandwich Bay is separated from the Isle of Thanet by the River Stour estuary, where the Pegwell Bay nature reserve and salt marsh can be found. The only facilities on the beach are a small toilet block and areas at the edges of the dunes for parking. Sandwich bay also has a sea wall, which has a road built on top to stop the waves from reaching the low-lying land behind. Every spring, beach replenishment is carried out, taking materials from the north of the bay, which has travelled up due to long shore drift, and is piled up against this wall to prevent any damage that may be caused by the waves.

Furthermore, the northernmost end of the beach is frequently used as an unofficial naturist beach.

Stour Estuary RSPB reserve

The Stour Estuary is a nature reserve in Essex, England, east of Colchester on the estuary of the River Stour, managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

The reserve is unusual in that it consists of two divergent habitat types: intertidal mudflats (fringed by saltmarsh and estuarine reeds), and 130 acres (0.5 km2) of deciduous woodland, mainly oak and coppiced sweet chestnut.

The estuary is important as a breeding, roosting and wintering site for many waterfowl and other birds, including woodpeckers, nightingale, blackcap, whitethroat, sedge warbler, reed warbler, European wigeon, common shelduck, northern pintail, common teal, dark-bellied brant goose, grey plover, common redshank, Eurasian curlew, dunlin and black-tailed godwit.

Mammals to be seen include red fox (Vulpes vulpes), badger (Meles meles), grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius).

Butterflies and rare moths include white admiral (Limenitis camilla), chocolate-tip moth (Clostera curtula) and peach blossom moth (Thyatira batis).

In the Spring, the woodland floor is covered with wood anemones creating a spectacular display.

The Stour Estuary is the focus of Arthur Ransome's 1939 children's novel, Secret Water.

Stour Wood

Stour Wood is a woodland in Essex, England, near the village of Wrabness. It covers a total area of 54.07 hectares (133.61 acres). It is owned by the Woodland Trust, and managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It is part of the Stour and Copperas Woods, Ramsey Site of Special Scientific Importance.

Stour and Copperas Woods, Ramsey

Stour and Copperas Woods, Ramsey is a 77.1 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest between Wrabness and Ramsey in Essex. It is two separate areas, Stour Wood, which is owned by the Woodland Trust and managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and Copperas Wood, which is owned and managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust. It is in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.The site is ancient coppiced woodland on the southern shore of Stour Estuary, and is the only area in the county where woodland and coastal habitats meet. The dominant tree is chestnut, with a ground layer of bramble. Other plants include yellow archangel and dog's mercury.The B1362 road runs along the south of both sites, and The Essex Way goes through Copperas Wood.

Sudbury, Suffolk

Sudbury (, locally ) is a small market town in the English county of Suffolk. It is located on the River Stour near the Essex border, and is 60 miles (97 km) north-east of London. At the 2011 census, the parish has a population of 13,063, rising to 21,971 including the adjoining parish of Great Cornard. It is the largest town of Babergh district council, the local government district, and is represented in the UK Parliament as part of the South Suffolk constituency.

Evidence of Sudbury as a settlement originates from the end of the 8th century during the Anglo-Saxon era, and its market was established in the early 11th century. Its textile industries prospered during the Late Middle Ages; the wealth of which funded many of its buildings and churches. The town became notable for its art in the 18th century, being the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough, whose landscapes offered inspiration to John Constable, another Suffolk painter of the surrounding Stour Valley area. The 19th century saw the arrival of the railway with the opening of a station on the historic Stour Valley Railway, and Sudbury railway station forms the current terminus of the Gainsborough Line. During World War II, US Army Airforce bombers operated from RAF Sudbury.

Today, Sudbury retains its status as a market town with a twice-weekly market in the town centre in front of St Peter's Church, which is now a local community point for events such as concerts and exhibitions. In sport, the town has a semi-professional football club, A.F.C. Sudbury, which competes at the seventh level of the football pyramid.

The Vale of Dedham (painting)

The Vale of Dedham is an 1828 oil painting by the English painter John Constable which depicts Dedham Vale on the Essex-Suffolk border in eastern England. It is in the permanent collection of the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. The view from Gun Hill along the River Stour to Dedham village and the distant Stour estuary was a favourite subject of Constable which he painted several times, most noticeably the 1802 version in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

In this work the paint is thickly applied with touches of white to emphasise the reflection of sunlight. The work was primarily responsible for his admission to the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts in 1829.

Wix, Essex

Wix is a village and civil parish in the Tendring district of Essex, England. It lies in a small valley about 2 miles (3 km) south of the Stour Estuary. The valley drains east towards Harwich. Formerly an important crossroads on the route to Harwich, it has now been bypassed by the A120 road.

The church, dedicated to Saint Mary, has a detached belfry which stands in the churchyard and contains one bell. In 1961, the then owner of Wix Abbey Farm was ploughing in the church which was overgrown when he struck a large piece of dressed limestone, which with further investigation revealed a large stone coffin with a skeleton inside. Archaeologists were called in and dated the coffin to circa 1140, due to the decorative cross on the lid having Saxon influences. The skeleton is very likely that of Alexander de Wix, a founder of Wix Priory, which occupied the church grounds until the 12th century. This coffin is now on show, or was until recently on display in Colchester Castle. An almost identical but slightly smaller coffin from the same site can be found in the bellhouse, in the churchyard.

There is one pub, The Waggon at Wix, a post office and general stores in Colchester Road, the Equestrian Centre in Clacton Road and Anglian Timber.


Wrabness is a small village and civil parish near Manningtree, Essex, England. The village is located six miles (10 km) west of Harwich. Wrabness railway station is served by trains on the Mayflower Line. Wrabness had a population of approximately 400.


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