The Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve
Ribble Coast and Wetlands
The Ribble is home to an impressive range of wildlife, with more than a quarter of a million migrating water birds feeding in and around the estuary. The marshes are home to thousands of nesting birds including gulls, terns and lapwings.
On both sides of the estuary, the UK’s largest area of sand dunes host rare natterjack toads, sand lizards and rare insects. The colourful collection of plants is one of the most diverse found in the UK.
Behind the dunes and marshes, the mosses support declining farmland wildlife like corn buntings and brown hares. The area is also one of the UK’s strongholds for water voles.
Sadly, this rich diversity of wildlife is often only found in isolated pockets because habitats have become fragmented due to drainage and other human activity.
Our aim is to work with like-minded people to restore and recreate a network of linked havens where wildlife is able to thrive and people can relax and enjoy nature.
Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The key RSPB reserves within this Futurescape are:
This new saltmarsh reserve is a great place to admire the gathered pink-footed geese, wigeons, teals and other wildfowl in winter, along with big flocks of golden plovers, lapwings and black-tailed godwits. In spring the marshes come alive with the sight and sound of displaying waders, including avocets and lapwings. But as recently as 2006, the land had been used for growing crops.
There's something for everyone throughout the year at this delightful coastal reserve. In the spring you can see brown hares boxing in the fields, while in the early summer you'll be able to spot nesting birds like avocets and lapwings.
Come to our visitor centre on the edge of Fairhaven Lake. It's the gateway to the north side of the Ribble Estuary - the most important single river estuary in the UK - which attracts more than 270,000 birds each year.
Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in the Ribble Estuary National Reserve. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:
Saving special places
Curlews in crisis: one year on
For this year’s World Curlew Day, Thursday 21st April 2022, amongst the enjoyment of this beautiful yet gravely threatened bird, comes an update on the ambitious conservation delivery project, Curlews in crisis (Curlew LIFE). The project is app...(re...Posted 21/04/2022 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
The conservationist's dilemma: an update on the science, policy and practice of the impact of predators on wild birds (8)
As we have written in previous years, the decision to introduce any form of predator control (lethal or non-lethal) is something we never take lightly. It’s always based on evidence and guided by the RSPB’s Council-agreed policy. The RSPB...(read mor...Posted 20/09/2021 by martinfowlie
G7 Commentary - Nature compact success or failure?
For the first time the G7 has made a nature-positive commitment to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030. This is unprecedented. Never before we have seen nature prioritised in a way that recognises the importance of a healthy natural wor...Posted 14/06/2021 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
A big step for international whale conservation - sei whale Key Biodiversity Area in Falklands
By Michelle Winnard, Communications Officer, Falklands Conservation Sei whale by Caroline Weir, Falklands Conservation In a big step for international whale conservation, the Falkland Islands have been confirmed as a hotspot for a globally end...(re...Posted 12/05/2021 by Heather Mitchell