Mid estuarine shores of fine sediment, mostly in the silt and clay fraction (particle size less than 0.063 mm in diameter), though sandy mud may contain up to 40% sand (mostly very fine and fine sand). Littoral mud typically forms extensive mudflats, though dry compacted mud can form steep and even vertical structures, particularly at the top of the shore adjacent to saltmarshes. Little oxygen penetrates these cohesive sediments, and an anoxic layer is often present within millimetres of the sediment surface. Most mid estuarine muddy shores are subject to some freshwater influence, though at some locations more or less fully marine conditions may prevail. Mid estuarine muds support rich communities characterised by polychaetes, bivalves and oligochaetes. Situation: Principally along mid estuarine shores. The mid estuarine communities may also be present in sheltered inlets, straits and embayments which are not part of major estuarine systems, though usually there is some freshwater influence. Temporal variation: Enteromorpha spp. and Ulva lactuca may form mats on the surface of the mud during the summer months, particularly in areas of nutrient enrichment or where there is significant freshwater influence.