Canvey Island was originally a salt marsh before being reclaimed by sea waters in the 7th century. On the North and East sides of the island there are still salt marshes remaining which is remarkably rich in birdlife in particular wild fowl. During the winter months the salt marshes are home to a large number of duck including Mallard, Teal, Wigeon and Shelduck, plus vast numbers of waders including Dunlin, Knot and Redshank. There are also the Brent Geese who visit us every year from Siberia to winter here, feeding on the Zostera and Eelgrass growing off the mud flats. Patches of upper salt marsh also support the nationally scarce Golden Samphire orchid.