SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Benacre to Easton Bavents

image: SPA location map 


Benacre to Easton Bavents is located on the North Sea coast of East Suffolk, between the coastal towns of Kessingland (to the north) and Southwold (to the south). The coast here is low-lying and consists of shingle beach in the northern part and low cliffs around Easton Bavents and Covehithe. Benacre Broad is a natural brackish lagoon separated from the sea by a shingle bar, reed-fringed on the landward side and then grading into deciduous woodland on the rising ground behind. The smaller Covehithe and Easton Broads have developed similarly, with fringing reedbeds. Elsewhere, grazing marsh fields include unimproved meadows, which are separated by ditches rich in water plants and invertebrates. The area supports important populations of breeding birds, which are particularly associated with reedbed and shingle beach habitats. The reedbeds also support important numbers of Bittern Botaurus stellaris in winter. Little Terns Sterna albifrons feed substantially outside the SPA in adjacent marine waters. 


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, 1 individuals representing at least 5.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at 1998)
Little Tern Sterna albifrons, 53 pairs representing at least 2.2% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at 1997)
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus, 6 pairs representing at least 3.8% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean 1993-1997)
Over winter;
Bittern Botaurus stellaris, 2 individuals representing at least 2.0% of the wintering population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1998) 



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.