Wootton Creek is a tidal estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....
that flows into the Solent
The Solent is a strait separating the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England.The Solent is a major shipping route for passengers, freight and military vessels. It is an important recreational area for water sports, particularly yachting, hosting the Cowes Week sailing event annually...
on the north coast of the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...
On the west bank of the creek is the village of Wootton, whilst on the east bank is the village of Fishbourne
Fishbourne, Isle of Wight
for disambiguation.Fishbourne is a small village between Wootton and Ryde, on the Isle of Wight.The name "Fishbourne" might mean "stream of fish" or "fish spring."...
. The estuary is bridged by the main Ryde
Ryde is a British seaside town, civil parish and the most populous town and urban area on the Isle of Wight, with a population of approximately 30,000. It is situated on the north-east coast. The town grew in size as a seaside resort following the joining of the villages of Upper Ryde and Lower...
Newport, Isle of Wight
Newport is a civil parish and a county town of the Isle of Wight, an island off the south coast of England. Newport has a population of 23,957 according to the 2001 census...
road, where there once was a tide mill
A tide mill is a water mill driven by tidal rise and fall. A dam with a sluice is created across a suitable tidal inlet, or a section of river estuary is made into a reservoir. As the tide comes in, it enters the mill pond through a one way gate, and this gate closes automatically when the tide...
. The estuary is not navigable south of the bridge, and tide controls means that water is retained south of the bridge most of the time.
On the side of the estuary there is a Forestry Commission
The Forestry Commission is a non-ministerial government department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. Its mission is to protect and expand Britain's forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment....
Ecologically, a woodland is a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. Woodlands may support an understory of shrubs and herbaceous plants including grasses. Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of...
called "Firestone Copse" which is about 30 acres (121,405.8 m²) in size.
The estuary has also been known in the past as "Fishbourne Creek", "Wootton River" and "Wootton Haven". At the mouth of the estuary is the Wightlink
Wightlink is a ferry company operating routes between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in southern England.Their core routes are car ferries from Lymington to Yarmouth and Portsmouth to Fishbourne...
car ferry terminal for connections to Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...
Since 1993 Wootton Creek and the adjacent Ryde Sands have been designated as SSSIs due to their wide range of intertidal sand flats.