These two islands are at, and just upstream of, the confluence of the Butley Creek and the main estuary, approximately opposite Gedgrave Marshes. The National Nature Reserves of Havergate Island and Orford Ness are the most important wildlife sites within the Alde/Ore estuary. Together they provide the most significant areas of breeding habitat in the estuary’s SPA for over 50 species of seabird, wader and raptor. There are 16 regularly occurring and five breeding Annex 1 bird species (Bird’s Directive). In addition to birds, these two National Nature Reserves support a large number of scarce and red Data book plants and invertebrates.
The diversity of the wetland habitats types present is of particular significance to birds occurring in the SPA (Special Protection Area), as these provide a range of opportunities for feeding, roosting and breeding within the site complex. Both sites are owned and managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Some of the compartment has been successfully converted to intertidal areas in recent years. The flood areas within the defences and intertidal habitat in front of the defences are internationally designated for the environmental interest features present.
– Ordnance Survey Map showing full extent of Flood Cells 12 & 13