East Atlantic Flyway nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site


The East Atlantic Flyway, an important region for migratory birds, is one of seven sites to be put forward by the UK Government for UNESCO World Heritage status.

The flyway, which covers an area of almost 1,300 km, brings together a coastal network of wetlands from RSPB Blacktoft Sands on the Humber Estuary to RSPB Wallasea Island, Essex, plus reserves along the River Thames. It is visited by millions of birds annually.

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

One of the reserves in the flyway is RSPB Minsmere, and site manager Adam Rowlands said: "It's recognising its importance for the birds and for us as people. These wetlands, like on the open coast at Minsmere, and our estuaries, are a fantastic place of global significance for migratory bird populations."

The Wadden Sea, which spans the Dutch and German coasts, and the Banc d'Arguin National Park in Mauritania, West Africa, are two examples of important bird regions which have received World Heritage Status.

A UNESCO site is a globally recognised designation given to places of cultural, historical or scientific significance. There are just two Natural World Heritage sites in the UK: the Dorset and East Devon Coast, plus the Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland.