Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.

Grazing Marsh - North Kent Marshes


Birds over the marshes
Photograph courtesy of Andy Wallace

The North Kent marshes have a unique character and value.  The historic reclamation of saltmarsh and subsequent conversion to grassland for extensive stock grazing created an open, remote landscape, protected by sea walls and drained by a network of brackish and freshwater ditches.  The marshes are of national, European and International importance for birds, particularly over wintering and breeding waders and wildfowl.  The ditches themselves and the reedbeds provide important habitat for a valuable range of flora and fauna.  The marshes hold a considerable historic heritage and features of archaeological interest.


PLA land holdings at Cliffe Marshes and at Allhallows Marshes form part of this area and the importance in terms of conservation is highlighted by the various directives and regulations relating to the land. The area is a designated part of the South Thames Estuary and Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is also classified as a Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar site.  

The variety of life forms on the North Kent Marshes is very obvious. The grasslands with breeding waders or flocks of wintering wildfowl. The water voles foraging in rich ditches. The distinctive golden dock or small red goosefoot in muddy hollows.  

Cliffe Marshes

Allhallows Marshes

The information on these pages was originally prepared with help from both DEFRA and English Nature (now Natural England). 

Page updated July 2015.