The Colne estuary is an area of international conservation importance, as well as being of great significance to the history, culture and people of north Essex. See Background for more information about the Colne Estuary Partnership.
The estuary is important to a wide range of stakeholders involved in recreation and leisure, aquaculture, commercial fisheries, coastal protection, nature conservation and research.
The Colne estuary is one of the most studied estuaries in the UK. Research at the University of Essex has studied the ecology, chemistry and biology of the estuary for over 30 years.
The Colne estuary contains many important habitats, including saltmarsh and mudflats. The estuarine habitats are designated both nationally and internationally for their importance to the conservation of biodiversity.