Main habitats: intertidal mudflats, saltmarsh, sandflats and shingle ridges
As the vast majority of the reserve is intertidal, the mudflats can be extremely dangerous. Please follow safety recommendations highlighted on signs throughout the reserve at all times.
Bridgwater Bay NNR contains one of the biggest intertidal mudflats in Britain as well as the largest area of salt marsh in Somerset. Around 200 bird species have been recorded at the reserve and flocks of up to several thousand birds can be spotted at the busiest times of year.
The large tidal range of the Bristol Channel exposes huge mudflats and salt marshes, which are teaming with microscopic animal and plant life. These support millions of larger creatures such as shrimp, shellfish and worms, the main diet of the many wading birds and wildfowl that can be seen on the site.
The reserve is of international importance as the second largest European moulting ground for shelduck, with up to 2000 birds present each July. The site also supports nationally important numbers of wintering dunlin, teal and widgeon as well as large numbers of curlew, grey plover.
Avocet bred on the reserve in 2012 for the first time since the species became extinct in Somerset during the 1940s.
The reed beds support numerous small birds such as reed and sedge warbler whilst skylark nest on adjacent common land. At low tide oystercatcher and turnstone feed on exposed shingle whilst many birds of prey including short-eared owl, harriers and peregrine hunt over the peninsula.
Whilst most of the reserve is below high tide there are some smaller areas that have been colonised by interesting plant communities. Notable species include rock sea-lavender, sea radish, tree mallow, Ray’s knotgrass and sea radish.
|National Nature Reserve (1 Jan 2017 - 31 Dec 2017)|