The Waterway Habitat
The Milford Haven Waterway is the largest estuary in Wales and one of the deepest natural harbours in the world. Its sheltered, tidal waters are surrounded by a diverse 200 mile coastline providing habitats for an abundance of wildlife.
There are many tributaries waiting to be explored, but those not familiar with the area should always be aware of the tidal state when venturing off the main waterway, as well as watching for other waterway traffic.
- The unspoilt upper and lowest reaches are part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only coastal National Park in the UK.
- Many foreshores are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
- The whole Haven is included in a European Marine Special Area of Conservation - the highest designation in Europe.
- The Pembrokeshire Marine SAC contains marine habitats and species of European importance, that are required by law to be protected and maintained for the future.
- The Haven is a wetland of international importance and is home to one of the most diverse estuarine communities in the UK.
What to watch for
In spring and summer the peaceful embayments and rivers provide breeding habitats and crèche sites for a multitude of birds. Wildfowl and wader counts have observed significant numbers of shelduck, teal, widgeon, curlew and redshank, with numbers reaching over 25,000 in winter.
Seals are often seen in the waterway and, if you venture out to the islands, you may spot cetaceans such as harbour porpoise, common and bottlenose dolphins and sometimes whales. The bird life on the islands is particularly spectacular and a trip around or onto one of the islands is a must.
For more information
Looking after a National Park
About Pembrokeshire's islands and wildlife