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Special Areas of Conservation

1340 Inland salt meadows

Marine, coastal and halophytic habitats

Description and ecological characteristics

Inland salt meadows refer to non-coastal sites supporting saltmarsh vegetation. In the UK this vegetation corresponds to NVC types SM16 Festuca rubra salt-marsh community and SM23 Spergularia marina – Puccinellia distans salt-marsh community.

The Annex I type comprises anthropogenic stands found, for example, in former salt-working sites, as well as natural or near-natural forms.

Inland salt meadows are a rare habitat type, having declined dramatically in the past 50 years in all areas where it occurs. The destruction of much of the natural habitat can be traced back to early salt-production activities.

Distribution of SACs/SCIs/cSACs with habitat 1340 Inland salt meadows. Click image for enlarged map.

European status and distribution

This is a rare habitat type that occurs in a number of European countries.

UK status and distribution

In the UK there is only one known remaining natural inland salt meadow.

Click here view UK distribution of this species

Site accounts

  • Pasturefields Salt Marsh Shropshire and Staffordshire
    Pasturefields Salt Marsh in the West Midlands is the only known remaining example in the UK of a natural salt spring with inland saltmarsh vegetation. The vegetation consists of red fescue Festuca rubra, with common saltmarsh-grass Puccinellia maritima, lesser sea-spurrey Spergularia marina, saltmarsh rush Juncus gerardii and sea arrowgrass Triglochin maritimum in the most saline situations.

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.

Please note that the map shows sites where the presence of a feature is classed as ‘grade d’, but these sites are not listed. This is because ‘grade d’ indicates a non-significant presence.