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Tourism SSSIs

Yarmouth Marshes

REF NR: 3303

The River Yar on the Isle of Wight, near the beach at Freshwater Bay, on the south coast of the island and flows just a few miles north to Yarmouth, on the north coast, where it joins the Solent. A large proportion of the river is a tidal estuary. Its headwaters have been shortened by erosion of the south coast.


The Yar estuary is part of the Isle of Wight’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which reaches from Afton Marsh Local Nature Reserve to Yarmouth. The Yar is also part of a 132.4 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest on the Isle of Wight, notified in 1977. In addition its upper reaches were designated as an SSSI in 1951 under the name 'Freshwater Marshes'. The Yar is one of two rivers with that name on the Isle of Wight.


The estuary is made up of a number of important habitats, including saltmarsh, reedbeds, mud flats and sand dunes, and these in turn give place to a rich abundance of wildlife, particularly over-wintering wildfowl and waders.




Contact Details

Isle of Wight

Phone: 01983 821000