Humber Management Scheme

The Humber supports a rich variety of habitats and species and is recognised as one of the most important estuaries in Europe for overwintering birds as well as supporting nine species of international importance. It is due to the presence of these important habitats and species that the Humber has been given a number of nature conservation designations under UK, European and international law.


The Humber Management Scheme (HMS) provides a coordinated and joined up approach for the management of the Humber Estuary European Marine Site (EMS). With support from both statutory and non-statutory organisations, actions are developed and delivered to bring the estuary into what is known as 'favourable condition'. Around 30 organisations have statutory duties to fulfil the conservation objectives of the EMS and together they form the Humber Estuary Relevant Authorities Group (HERAG).

The HMS is overseen and administered by the Humber Nature Partnership which supports HERAG and delivers a wide range of projects as identified in the Action Plan. The Humber Nature Partnership also works with the Humber Nature Forum to develop and implement practical measures to reduce any adverse impacts occurring on the EMS. The Forum is an open membership voluntary group composed of organisations and individuals with an interest in the Estuary.

The key objectives are:

  • To manage the estuary to meet the requirements of the conservation objectives
  • To bring people and organisations together to deliver the sustainable management of the Humber Estuary EMS
  • To raise awareness and educate stakeholders about the Humber Estuary European Marine Site and increase participation in its management
  • To identify information gaps and research requirements and to promote sharing and availability of data for the management of the Humber Estuary EMS
  • To ensure a coordinated approach to the management of the estuary and its hinterlands including planning for the future


The delivery of the Action Plan is overseen and supported by the HERAG Working Group, made up of representatives of HERAG and the Chair of the Humber Nature Forum. In addition to the ongoing implementation of the HMS, the Humber Nature Partnership also undertakes various projects which contribute to the sustainable management of the estuary.

Project work has included:

  • Investigating the effects of recreational disturbance on the Humber Estuary Special Protection Area
  • Assisting with the development of an ecological mitigation strategy for the South Humber Gateway
  • Developing a database to assist developers and planners with detailed project impact assessments
  • Humber Hounds awareness raising initiative with dog walkers on best practice when visiting the Estuary
  • Creating a mobile phone App to provide information on places to visit around the estuary and voluntary codes of conduct for a range of different users.

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