River Wyre Estuary is an area of important scientific interest and a major area for indigenous English wildlife and for migrating birds on the Lancashire Fylde and Morecambe Bay.
The Wyre Estuarywith an intertidal zone extending to some one thousand three hundred acres (500 Ha) and a length of around eleven miles (8.3 Km) from Little Eccleston to the east and Fleetwood where it flows into Morecambe Bay the Wyre Estuary contains a wealth of wildlife an area of outstanding beauty and is an important recreational facility for residents of, and visitors to Wyre.
The River Wyre and salt-marshes are unique and support internationally important numbers of birds. The species present will vary with the seasons but include Pink Footed Geese, Oyster-catchers and Shell-duck. Birdwatching on the estuary is best for an hour before and after high tides the rising water level pushes the birds closer to the shores.
The surrounding farmland, much of it reclaimed from the Wyre Estuary, and hedgerows support populations of smaller birds and birds of pray such as the Hen Harrier.
Special salt-marsh plants and flowers Sea Lavender, Glasswort and Sea Aster grow alongside the woodland wild-flowers Bluebells, Red Campions and other specialist flowers such as Orchids and Birds Foot Tails.
On a clear day there are beautiful views across the River Wyre to the hills and forests of Bowland, the source of the river, and the Lake District fells.
At high tide the River Wyre Estuary becomes a mighty river when water covers the mudflats and marshes creating a place for water sport enthusiasts of around one thousand six hundred acres. A very different scene form those of a hundred years ago when the river Wyre regularly saw cargo ships from the Americas unloading cargo at local Wyre Estuary ports at Skippool now home to Fleetwood yacht club. on the western shore and Wardleys, Hambleton Creek now home to Hambleton Yacht club.
Development and reclamation since the middle of the nineteenth century have seen the intertidal zone of the Wyre Estuary shrink by about fifty percent from two and a half thousand acres to its current size which has now stabilised although some areas of salt-marsh continue to expand into the inter tidal zone.
The River Wyre Estuary is a major geographic feature in the borough of Wyre with the towns of Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Thornton and Poulton Le Fylde, the administrative centre, to the west with the rural villages comprising Over Wyre and the small market town of Garstang, the jewel in Wyre's crown, to the east.
Visitors to the River Wyre Estuary are recommended to visit the Wyre Estuary Country Park at Stanah, with a visitors centre, information and activities for all.
Private craft can be launched from the slipway at the park, permits and tide tables are available from the visitors centre. With a mean spring tidal range at Fleetwood of 27 feet (8.3 metre) the importance of the tides to boat and jet ski sailors on the river Wyre Estuary can not be overstressed.
The telephone number of the visitors centre is 01253 857890 and the address is Wyre Estuary Country Park, River Road, Stanah, Thornton Clevelys, Lancashire FY5 5LR.
The mouth of the River Wyre Estuary has Fleetwood on its west bank and Knott End on the east, a small passenger ferry runs between the two.