Welcome to the Association of Severn Estuary Relevant Authorities (ASERA) website!
This site provides information on the role ASERA plays in protecting the Severn Estuary European Marine Site, why the Severn Estuary is so special and the reasons for its many national and international designations.
The Severn Estuary lies on the south-west coast of Britain at the mouth of three major rivers; the Severn, the Wye and the Avon. The immense tidal range (the second highest in the world) and classic funnel shape make the Severn Estuary unique in Britain and very rare worldwide. The Estuary is a dynamic and diverse area with fascinating natural, cultural and geographical features, managed and used by a wide variety of organisations and individuals. It therefore has a range of conservation designations which you can find more about here.
Of particular interest to ASERA is the Severn Estuary’s status as a European Marine Site (EMS). The Severn Estuary EMS is comprised of the following sites:
- Severn Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA)
- Severn Estuary Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
- Severn Estuary Ramsar site
The SPA, SAC and Ramsar designations cover the intertidal and subtidal areas eastwards of a line between Lavernock Point on the Welsh coast and Brean Down on the English coast. This designation requires that the site be managed so that natural habitats and wild species listed on the Annexes to the Directive are maintained or recovered to a favourable conservation status.
Who are ASERA?
ASERA was formed in 1998 in recognition of the practical and resourcing difficulties authorities would face if they were to individually attempt to discharge their statutory duties, in respect of the Habitats Directive. It is intended that through ASERA, the Relevant Authorities will be able to discharge their statutory duties in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. Given the statutory duties that all Relevant Authorities share, and the benefits of sharing costs for discharging them, ASERA now represents 22 out of Relevant Authorities on the Severn Estuary.
What do ASERA do?
The key focus of the Association is to establish and maintain a single management scheme for the Severn Estuary European Marine Site (EMS). Under the management scheme, the functions of the Relevant Authorities are exercised to achieve the requirements of the European Habitats and Birds Directives. Click here to find out more about ASERA.