Approximately 2500m of saltmarsh lies along our coastline, serving as a rest and feeding ground to migratory winter birds and many local flora and fauna. A narrow band of sand runs behind the salt marsh, connecting Cleethorpes and Humberston Fitties beaches.
The saltmarsh has developed naturally from mud flats which form where the River Humber meets the North Sea creating the Humber Estuary. It is home to a diverse range of specialist plants and animals that cope with the tidal environment.
The saltmarsh provides sheltered nursery sites for fish, hiding places for invertebrates, nectar for pollinators, and hunting grounds for small mammals. These animals provide food for our internationally and nationally important birds that also use the raised parts of the saltmarsh as nesting and roosting sites. Around half of our British Redshanks breed on saltmarsh making it a very important habitat nationally and internationally.
The saltmarsh performs important ecosystem functions too.It provides a natural flood defence that dissipates wave energy and slows the flow of tidal water preventing it from reaching further in land, and it reduces scour and erosion. It also costs a third of man-made flood defences. Its ability to rapidly capture carbon from the air and store it for long periods of time is also important and significant in local and global regulation of climate change.