Due to the nature of the habitats and species present within the Colne estuary, it has become one of the most heavily protected parts of our coastline. The estuary is protected by national and international designations under UK and EU legislation.
The SSSI is within an area cited as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention and a Special Protection Area under the EEC Council Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds. The whole estuary also falls within the Essex estuaries European Marine Site designated as part of the Natura 2000 network under the Habitats Directive. Three areas: Brightlingsea Marshes, East Mersea and Colne Point form part of the Colne Estuary National Nature Reserve. Colne Point, Fingringhoe Wick and Howlands Marsh are owned and managed as nature reserves by the Essex Naturalists' Trust. The Colne Estuary is listed as a site of national importance in the Nature Conservation Review (Ratcliffe, 1977).
Click the links below for more information about the following designations;