Stanpit Marsh Local Nature Reserve

An extensive area of saltmarsh and reed bed between the mouths of the River Stour and River Avon.


Stanpit Marsh: the heart of Christchurch harbour - If Stanpit Marsh was closer to home I would be a regular visitor. There is always something of interest at this SSSI site despite the fact that it lies on ground surrounded by the busy town of Christchurch. There many houses nearby and associated dog walkers but do not let that fool you in to thinking this is a place to avoid! The town to the north with its attractive Priory makes a pleasant backdrop, the distant Hengisbury Head and its beach huts to the south with the towering cliffs of the Isle of Wight beyond make for a fine view south and, in general, it is a nice place to be. The houses to the east and the road are actually some distance away and to the west are reed beds at the mouth of the two rivers, Avon and Stour, that flow into Christchurch Harbour here.  The site is also well managed with the aid of some willing volunteers and they have been really successful it seems with their dogs on leads policy. But what of the wildlife. This is best known as a wintering birding site where there are always a lot of birds around during the winter but it combines unique salt grass habitat with extensive Phragmytes reed beds which means it is a good spot for breeding birds and it is well known as a hot-spot during migration times. The botanical interest should not be overlooked either.  
Site Name Stanpit Marsh Local Nature Reserve
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Diversity Average (100-150 species)
Map Reference SZ166922
Site Habitats
Habitat Relationship
C6: Mudflats & Tidal Water


C7: Saltmarsh


C9: Reedbed