SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Breydon Water

image: SPA location map 


Breydon Water is located at the extreme east of England on the coast of Norfolk. The site is an inland tidal estuary at the mouth of the River Yare and its confluence with the Rivers Bure and Waveney. It has extensive areas of mud-flats that are exposed at low tide and these form the only tidal flats on the east coast of Norfolk. There are also extensive areas of floodplain grassland adjacent to the intertidal areas. Breydon Water is internationally important for wintering waterbirds, some of which feed in the Broadland SPA that adjoins this site at Halvergate Marshes. 


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;
Common Tern Sterna hirundo, 155 pairs representing up to 1.3% of the breeding population in Great Britain (4 count mean, 1992-1994 & 1996)
Over winter;
Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, 33 individuals representing up to 2.6% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii, 391 individuals representing up to 5.6% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, 5,040 individuals representing up to 2.0% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
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 43,225 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa islandica, Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Shoveler Anas clypeata, Wigeon Anas penelope, White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons albifrons, Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii.



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.