Friends of the Fowey Estuary

The Fowey estuary is a ria, a river valley flooded after the last Ice Age.

The Estuary itself is 11kms in length and covers an area of nearly 1000 acres; it contains a diverse landscape and built and cultural heritage.  

The Fowey Estuary is located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and includes a wide variety of habitats. In the lower estuary there are rocky headlands, caves and sandy beaches.

 Readymoney Cove is a designated Bathing Beach and a Marine Conservation Society (MCS) Recommended Beach.

Eelgrass beds are found in the lower estuary, this is the only true marine flowering plant. This diverse habitat is an important feeding and nursery area for fish.

There are areas of woodland bordering the estuary, some of which contain ancient trees. Further up the estuary at Golant there are large sand and mud banks which are exposed at low tide. These provide feeding areas for wading birds.At the top of the estuary at Lostwithiel there is an area of saltmarsh, a rare habitat in the Southwest.

The majority of the fundus (bed of the estuary) and the foreshore is owned by the Fowey Harbour Commissioners and most of the land fringing the estuary is owned by large landowners such as The National Trust, Network Rail and the Forestry Commission.


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