Havergate Island is made up of 6 lagoons – each of which we can control the water level of. Having this control is important because it means we can adjust the water levels depending on the time of year and what birds are using the island. All of the lagoons are saline as we just let the water from the river in to top them up and so they are packed full saline lagoon invertebrates.

In fact – Havergate Island is a site of the very highest national importance for the conservation of saline lagoon invertebrates. The most important invertebrates on Havergate Island being the Starlet Sea-anemone Nematostella vectensis which is a species of international importance. Also, the Sand-shrimp  Gammarus insensibilis.


Starlet Sea-anemone.

With such an important array of inverts in the lagoons it is important we keep the lagoons in top condition by regularly checking the salinity and water levels. We have 4 inlets across the island and 3 outlets so an important yearly job for the volunteers is making sure the flaps on the sluices are working properly and have not seized up. We obviously need to time this job right with the tides!

Volunteer Ian maintaining the inlets on North lagoon.

Our volunteer work party team carry out an array of different jobs on Havergate Island and other sites on the South Suffolk Coast. If you are interested in taking part or just want to find out more about the work we do please contact Lyndsey on Lyndsey.record@rspb.org.uk.