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Special Areas of Conservation

2160 Dunes with Hippophae rhamnoides

Coastal sand dunes and continental dunes

Description and ecological characteristics

Dunes with Hippophae rhamnoides comprise scrub vegetation on more-or-less stable sand dunes in which sea-buckthorn H. rhamnoides is abundant. Sea-buckthorn may either form dense thickets, with sparse nitrophilous associates such as common nettle Urtica dioica, or occur as more scattered bushes interspersed with various grasses, typically marram Ammophila arenaria and red fescue Festuca rubra, and associated herbs of dune grassland. This vegetation corresponds with NVC type SD18 Hippophae rhamnoides dune scrub.

Distribution of SACs/SCIs/cSACs with habitat 2160 Dunes with Hippophae rhamnoides. Click image for enlarged map.

European status and distribution

This form of dune vegetation is mainly found on Atlantic coasts in the EU.

UK status and distribution

This habitat is found at scattered coastal localities around the UK, but as a native vegetation type it is confined to a few sites on the east coast of England (Pearson & Rogers 1962). Elsewhere sea-buckthorn has been planted, and is generally regarded as a conservation problem as it tends to invade other dune habitats and change the nutrient status of the soil where it grows.

Click here view UK distribution of this species

Site accounts

  • Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes and Gibraltar Point Lincolnshire
    This site supports a good example of Dunes with Hippophae rhamnoides in the main part of its natural range in the UK. This habitat develops on dune areas and is present in a range of successional stages from early colonisation to mature scrub associated with other species such as elder Sambucus nigra, hawthorn Crataegus monogyna and ivy Hedera helix, typically associated with an understorey of ruderal species. These stands of scrub are important for both migratory and breeding birds.

SACs where this Annex I habitat is a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

  • Humber Estuary East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, Extra-Regio, Lincolnshire

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.