East Atlantic Flyway 'must be cherished', says RSPB


The RSPB has said the East Atlantic Flyway – which has been put forward for UNESCO World Heritage status – is 'irreplaceable' and 'must be cherished'.

In April, the flyway was nominated on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage status. The area covers some 170,000 ha, from the Humber to the Thames Estuary, and supports crucial populations of migratory birds.

Brent Goose is one of the many species that use the East Atlantic Flyway (Andrew Moon).

It will take the RSPB up to 10 years to find out whether or not it has been accepted onto the list. It is one of seven sites that have been put forward by the UK Government for the esteemed status.

RSPB conservation officer Ed Tooth said: "We are really hopeful ... now the hard work begins. We've had the support from the government to be put on the tentative list but now essentially we have to prove the sites are worth the designation, so it's a lot of work, it's going to take years but we are confident."

"Without these habitats, these birds just don't exist. When you think of UNESCO you think about the Great Barrier Reef or the Great Wall of China. These phenomenal examples of things as humans we need to cherish and that's exactly what we have here on the east coast with these wetland habitats."

"When you've got such vast numbers of birds doing such incredible journeys it's awe-inspiring. It's really exciting from our point of view to be one step closer to getting these wetlands recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site."

Plans to create a barrage across The Wash between Norfolk and Lincolnshire represent just one of the many threats to sites along the flyway.