SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Broadland

image: SPA location map 

 

Broadland is a low-lying wetland complex straddling the boundaries between east Norfolk and northern Suffolk in eastern England. The Broads are a series of flooded medieval peat cuttings. They lie within the floodplains of five principal river systems, known as Broadland. The area includes the river valley systems of the Bure, Yare and Waveney and their major tributaries. The distinctive open landscape comprises a complex and interlinked mosaic of wetland habitats including open water, reedbeds, carr woodland, grazing marsh and fen meadow, forming one of the finest marshland complexes in the UK. The differing types of management of the vegetation for reed, sedge and marsh hay, coupled with variations in hydrology and substrate, support an extremely diverse range of plant communities. The area is of international importance for a variety of wintering and breeding raptors and waterbirds associated with extensive lowland marshes. The estuary at the mouth of Broadland is Breydon Water SPA, and the two sites adjoin each other at Halvergate Marshes. Breeding and wintering raptors, and wintering waterbirds spend time on feeding areas outside the SPA boundary. 

 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Bittern Botaurus stellaris, 3 individuals representing up to 15.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at 1998)
 
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus, 21 pairs representing up to 13.1% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at 1995)
 
Over winter;
 
Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii, 320 individuals representing up to 4.6% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Bittern Botaurus stellaris, 6 individuals representing up to 6.0% of the wintering population in Great Britain
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus, 22 individuals representing up to 2.9% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1987/8-1991/2)
 
Ruff Philomachus pugnax, 96 individuals representing up to 13.7% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 yr peak mean 87/8-91/2)
 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, 133 individuals representing up to 2.4% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 yr peak mean 93/4-97/8)
 
This site also qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
 
Over winter;
 
Gadwall Anas strepera, 605 individuals representing up to 2.0% of the wintering Northwestern Europe population (RSPB: Count 99/00)
 
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus, 3,290 individuals representing up to 1.5% of the wintering Eastern Greenland/Iceland/UK population (5 yr peak mean 94/5-98/9)
 
Shoveler Anas clypeata, 401 individuals representing up to 1.0% of the wintering Northwestern/Central Europe population (RSPB: Count 99/00)
 
Assemblage qualification: A wetland of international importance.
 
The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 waterfowl
 
Over winter, the area regularly supports 22,603 individual waterfowl (RSPB, Count 99/00) including: Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii, Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, Ruff Philomachus pugnax, Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus, Gadwall Anas strepera, Bittern Botaurus stellaris, Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, Coot Fulica atra, Bean Goose Anser fabalis, White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons albifrons, Wigeon Anas penelope, Teal Anas crecca, Pochard Aythya ferina, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, Shoveler Anas clypeata.

 


Note:

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
 
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.