Wetlands are some of the most threatened habitats in the world, yet also the most vital for wildlife and people.
They’re areas of land that are either permanently or seasonally inundated with water, supporting species that are adapted to live there. They’re dynamic, changing with the seasons and over time into different forms.
Often, types of wetland habitat work together as part of an intricate ecosystem, home to a huge diversity of wildlife.
Wetlands come in all shapes and sizes. They can be found in millions of squares kilometres of stunning scenery or simply in your back garden.
Partially submerged, a coral reef can be a wetland too. The stunning shapes and colours of the reef support the greatest known diversity of species of any marine ecosystem.
They might not seem like anything special but ditches and scrapes are wetland powerhouses collecting water runoff and supporting wildlife.
Where freshwater and saltwater meet. Estuaries like the Severn are gateways for migrating wetland species like salmon and the critically endangered European eel.
These areas are some of the most fertile landscapes in the world. But today only 1% of the original fen habitat remains in scraps across our landscape
Don’t let the still waters of a lake fool you, these freshwater wetlands are teeming with life, supporting more than 140,000 species.
The most specialist of all wetland habitats. Some of the species that call these brackish pools home can’t survive in any other environment.
These mysterious salt water forests help protect us from the effects of climate change, preventing coastal erosion, slowing storm surges and absorbing carbon.
Over the years these precious wetlands have been processed for garden compost. Yet peat bogs act as incredible ‘carbon sinks’ and are essential to fight climate change.
From farmland ponds to your humble garden pond, these small freshwater ecosystems support a huge range of bird, amphibian, mammal and invertebrate life.
These iconic wetland habitats provide shelter to shy wetland species like bittern, eels and water rails, while harvest mice weave tennis ball-sized nests in their stalks.
Perhaps the most familiar of all our wetlands, our rivers are enjoyed by many. Rivers and surrounding riparian wetlands support nature and people the world over..
The multitaskers of the wetland world. Saltmarsh provides vital habitats for wildlife, flood defences for humans and stores more carbon than any other habitat.
These vast underwater meadows support a diverse number of species and work together with mangroves and coral reefs to protect coastlines.
These seasonally flooded grasslands are essential for the survival of ground-nesting birds such as curlew, lapwing and godwit, as well as declining wildflowers.