4030 European dry heaths
Description and ecological characteristics
European dry heaths typically occur on freely-draining, acidic to circumneutral soils with generally low nutrient content. Ericaceous dwarf-shrubs dominate the vegetation. The most common is heather Calluna vulgaris, which often occurs in combination with gorse Ulex spp., bilberry Vaccinium spp. or bell heather Erica cinerea, though other dwarf-shrubs are important locally. Nearly all dry heath is semi-natural, being derived from woodland through a long history of grazing and burning. Most dry heaths are managed as extensive grazing for livestock or, in upland areas, as grouse moors.
Twelve NVC types in Britain meet the definition of this habitat type:
- H1 Calluna vulgaris – Festuca ovina heath
- H2 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex minor heath
- H3 Ulex minor – Agrostis curtisii heath
- H4 Ulex gallii – Agrostis curtisii heath
- H7 Calluna vulgaris – Scilla verna heath
- H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath
- H9 Calluna vulgaris – Deschampsia flexuosa heath
- H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea heath
- H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath
- H16 Calluna vulgaris – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi heath
- H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa heath
- H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heath
Not all forms of these communities are European dry heaths. For example, dry heath vegetation on deep peat is regarded as bog, while alpine forms of the last five types listed above (found at high elevations and in northern latitudes around and above the presumed natural tree-line) are referable to Annex I type 4060 Alpine and Boreal heaths. Most forms of H1 Calluna – Festuca heath belong within the European dry heaths category, including those rare occurences of the Carex arenaria sub-community (H1d) on inland dune systems such as Breckland; but this sub-community is more usually found on the coast, when is referable to 2150 Atlantic decalcified fixed dunes. Stands of H7 Calluna – Scilla heath on moorland near the sea conform to European dry heaths, but most examples, together with stands of H8d Calluna – Ulex heath, Scilla verna sub-community on sea cliffs, are referable to 1230 Vegetated sea cliffs of the Atlantic and Baltic coasts. Dry heaths vary in their flora and fauna according to climate, and are also influenced by altitude, aspect, soil conditions (especially base-status and drainage), maritime influence, and grazing and burning intensity. There is a gradation from southerly to northerly kinds of dry heath, and there are also both western (oceanic) and eastern (more continental) forms.
On slightly damp soils in the mild, oceanic climate of south-west England and south Wales, there is the uncommon H4 Ulex– Agrostis heath, characterised by the frequency of bristle bent Agrostis curtisii and western gorse Ulex gallii, alongside Calluna, bell heather Erica cinerea and cross-leaved heath E. tetralix. The rare Dorset heath E. ciliaris and Cornish heath E. vagans are found locally in this community. On similarly moist soils further east, in Dorset and the New Forest, U. gallii is replaced by dwarf gorse U. minor in H3 Ulex – Agrostis heath. H2 Calluna – Ulex heath occurs on dry acid soils in the lowlands of south-east and central southern England, and is typically dominated by mixtures of Calluna, U. minor and E. cinerea. The semi-continental H1 Calluna – Festuca heaths of Breckland on the western Norfolk-Suffolk border are generally overwhelmingly dominated by Calluna, with, sometimes, an abundance of lichens. Lowland heaths in southern Britain often support an important fauna, including birds (such as European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus and Dartford warbler Sylvia undata), reptiles (such as sand lizard Lacerta agilis and smooth snake Coronella austriaca) and invertebrates.
At low to moderate altitudes in warm oceanic parts of southern Britain, the typical form of the habitat is H8 Calluna – Ulex heath, characterised by abundant Calluna, U. gallii and E. cinerea. U. gallii becomes scarce in the cooler oceanic climate further north, where E. cinerea and Calluna are abundant together in H10 Calluna – Erica heath, especially on more southerly-facing slopes; E. cinerea becomes dominant in the hyper-oceanic fringes of the north-west. On more sheltered, humid slopes there are H21 Calluna – Vaccinium – Sphagnum heaths with a high cover of bog-mosses Sphagnum spp. and hypnaceous mosses, which are best-developed in Scotland. In the hyper-oceanic far north-west Highlands and Islands these heaths are rich in Atlantic bryophytes, and especially liverworts such as Bazzania tricrenata, Herbertus aduncus ssp. hutchinsiae, Mastigophora woodsii and Pleurozia purpurea, which develop as luxuriant mats under the canopy of dwarf-shrubs. The UK is one of the most important parts of the world for Atlantic bryophytes, and this is the most important habitat for many of these oceanic species of restricted world distribution.
At low to moderate elevations in the less oceanic areas of north-east England and the Midlands there are often extensive species-poor heaths (H9 Calluna – Deschampsia heaths) with an overwhelming dominance of Calluna and frequent wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa. These are often the least diverse of all UK heaths. In upland regions further north, there are sub-montane Calluna-dominated heaths with abundant bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus and crowberry Empetrum nigrum ssp. nigrum (H12 Calluna – Vaccinium), and, in the eastern Scottish Highlands, bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (H16 Calluna – Arctostaphylos). Calluna – Vaccinium heaths occur throughout the British uplands, but are best-developed in the North Pennines and north-eastern Scotland. They often hold important populations of moorland birds. Red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus, hen harrier Circus cyaneus, merlin Falco columbarius, twite Carduelis flavirostris, short-eared owl Asio flammeus and golden plover Pluvialis apricaria occur widely. Black grouse Lyrurus tetrix and golden eagle Aquila chrysaetes are especially associated with the Scottish Highlands, and whimbrel Numenius phaeopus and great skua Stercorarius skua with the northern maritime moors of Scotland. Increasing snow-lie at high altitude favours bilberry species in particular, and H18 Vaccinium – Deschampsia heaths are abundant in the central and eastern Scottish Highlands; the rare blue heath Phyllodoce caerulea occurs very locally in these snow-bed heaths which grade to 4060 Alpine and Boreal heaths. Vaccinium-dominated heaths also occur in more southerly upland areas where Calluna heaths have been subjected to heavy grazing and/or inappropriate burning.
Species-rich forms of dry heath (so-called chalk heath and limestone heath) occur where acid surface deposits overlie calcareous materials. Such heaths contain unusual combinations of heath and calcareous grassland species, such as common rock-rose Helianthemum nummularium and salad burnet Sanguisorba minor ssp. minor, and are very rare in the UK. Other unusual forms of species-rich heath occur in Scotland on base-rich glacial drift or on moderately base-rich rocks, such as those on Rum in the Inner Hebrides. These support rare or local species, including northern bedstraw Galium boreale, intermediate wintergreen Pyrola media, stone bramble Rubus saxatilis, alpine bistort Persicaria vivipara and thyme broomrape Orobanche alba. On coastal cliffs and slopes there are maritime H7 Calluna – Scilla heaths with spring squill Scilla verna, including an unusual lichen-rich waved form in the far north on Orkney and Shetland.
European status and distribution
This habitat has a wide European distribution, but it is only extensive in the western oceanic fringes of Europe, including the UK.
UK status and distribution
Dry heaths occur throughout the UK. They are particularly abundant in the uplands, where they may form extensive stands, which dominate the landscape. They are more localised in lowland areas, especially in south and central England, where they have declined in extent due to afforestation, agricultural improvement and other
Click here view UK distribution of this species
Surrey, East and West Sussex
The dry heath in Ashdown Forest is an extensive example of the south-eastern H2 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex minor community. This vegetation type is dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris, bell heather Erica cinerea and dwarf gorse Ulex minor, with transitions to other habitats. It supports important lichen assemblages, including species such as Pycnothelia papillaria. This site supports the most inland remaining population of hairy greenweed Genista pilosa in Britain.
North Eastern Scotland
Ballochbuie supports one of the largest remaining continuous areas of native 91C0 Caledonian forest, situated on the slopes of the Dee valley below the foothills of the Lochnagar massif. Mostly within the former limits of the forest, the site also supports extensive areas of dry heath, along with smaller areas of wet heath. The European dry heath comprises representative examples of the characteristic communities of north-east Scotland, i.e. NVC types H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath and H16 Calluna vulgaris – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi heath. Forms of H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heath are also represented, especially in open areas within the forest. Small stands of juniper Juniperus communis (a non-qualifying feature at this site) are found along the upper margins of the forest. On ridges and hill-tops, the dry heath grades to subalpine heaths. Close to the forest, interrupted clubmoss Lycopodium annotinum occurs locally in the heath, along with cloudberry Rubus chamaemorus. Heathy glades in the forest are locally enriched with species such as nodding melick Melica nutans and stone bramble Rubus saxatilis.
Beinn a' Ghlo
Beinn a’Ghlo has a similar range of European dry heaths to the Cairngorms and similarly is representative of the upland heaths of the cool and less oceanic north-east of Scotland. The dry heaths are even more predominant than on the Cairngorms, occupying almost half of the total area of the site. The principal NVC types present are H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath, H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa heath and H16 Calluna vulgaris – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi heath, mostly occurring on acid soils developed over quartzite, giving good examples of species-poor heath. The most extensive type from low to high altitudes on the site, typical of the eastern Highlands, is Calluna – Vaccinium heath. There are also good examples of snow-bed forms of Vaccinium – Deschampsia heath developed at the upper limit of dry heath in which late snow-lie causes a replacement of heather Calluna by bilberry Vaccinium spp. On gradations to limestone soils there are some examples of herb-rich heath. There are well-developed transitions to 4060 Alpine and Boreal heaths.
Highlands and Islands
The main NVC types representing European dry heaths at Beinn Bhan are H10 Calluna vulgaris–Erica cinerea and H21 Calluna vulgaris–Vaccinium myrtillus–Sphagnum capillifolium, both typically extensive in the north west Highlands. Unusually, a variant with bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, occurs locally. Beinn Bhan also supports well-developed examples of the northern Atlantic hepatic mat within the Mastigophora woodsii–Herbertus aduncus ssp. hutchinsiae sub-community of Calluna–Vaccinium–Sphagnum heath (H21b). This liverwort-rich sub-community contains many Atlantic bryophyte species and is particularly extensive at Beinn Bhan.
Berwyn a Mynyddoedd de Clwyd/ Berwyn and South Clwyd Mountains
East Wales, West Wales and The Valleys
Berwyn contains the largest stands of upland European dry heath in Wales. The dry heath is characteristic of Berwyn’s more easterly location and less oceanic climate than the other major Welsh uplands, and consists principally of NVC type H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath, with frequent crowberry Empetrum nigrum and occasional cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea. Other heath vegetation present includes areas of H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa heath and in some areas stands of damp H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heath. These latter heaths occur in an intermediate position between the drier heaths and blanket mire and support occasional plants of lesser twayblade Listera cordata.
The dry heaths of Breckland are representative of European dry heaths in East Anglia, in eastern England, developed under a semi-continental climate. Breckland has an average annual precipitation of only 600 mm, relatively hot summers and cold winters. Frosts can occur in any month of the year. The dry acidic heath of Breckland represents H1 Calluna vulgaris – Festuca ovina heath in the SAC series. The sand sedge-dominated Carex arenaria sub-community (H1d) is typical of areas of blown sand – a very unusual feature of this location. The highly variable soils of Breckland, with underlying chalk being largely covered with wind-blown sands, have resulted in mosaics of heather-dominated heathland, acidic grassland and calcareous grassland that are unlike those of any other site. In many places there is a linear or patterned distribution of heath and grassland, arising from fossilised soil patterns that formed under peri-glacial conditions. Breckland is important for rare plants, such as perennial knawel Scleranthus perennis ssp. prostratus, and rare invertebrates.
Breney Common and Goss and Tregoss Moors
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
4010 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix, and to a smaller extent, dry heath occur in this site. The dry heath is an example of H4 Ulex gallii – Agrostis curtisii heath, with a limited south-western distribution in Britain.
Highlands and Islands, North Eastern Scotland
The Cairngorms has the largest extent of European dry heaths in the UK and is representative of the upland heaths of the cool and less oceanic north-east of Scotland. The site contains extensive examples of all the heath types characteristic of the eastern Highlands and is representative of the heathland in this area. The principal NVC types present are H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath, H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa heath and H16 Calluna vulgaris – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi heath. These communities mainly occur on acid soils and are species-poor. The main exceptions to this are areas of species-rich H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea heath, developed on base and/or lime-rich soils at Inchrory. The Cairngorms holds the most extensive well-developed snow-bed forms of Vaccinium – Deschampsia heath in the SAC series. There are widespread transitions to wet heath, woodland, juniper scrub and 4060 Alpine and Boreal heaths.
Shropshire and Staffordshire
The area of lowland heathland at Cannock Chase is the most extensive in the Midlands, although there have been losses due to fragmentation and scrub/woodland encroachment. The character of the vegetation is intermediate between the upland or northern heaths of England and Wales and those of southern counties. Dry heathland communities belong to NVC types H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii and H9 Calluna vulgaris – Deschampsia flexuosa heaths. Within the heathland, species of northern latitudes occur, such as cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea and crowberry Empetrum nigrum. Cannock Chase has the main British population of the hybrid bilberry Vaccinium intermedium, a plant of restricted occurrence. There are important populations of butterflies and beetles, as well as European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus and five species of bats.
Dartmoor is representative of upland heath in south-west England. The site is notable because it contains extensive areas of H4 Ulex gallii – Agrostis curtisii heath, a type most often found in the lowlands, and H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath, a predominantly upland type. Calluna – Vaccinium heath generally occupies the steeper, better-drained slopes, with Ulex – Agrostis heath occurring on the lower slopes of the moor. A number of predominantly northern species occur on the southern edge of their national range. Plants found on dry heaths that are rare in south-west England include crowberry Empetrum nigrum and stag’s-horn clubmoss Lycopodium clavatum.
Dorset and Somerset
This site comprises 37 SSSIs with fine transitions between 4010 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix, dry heaths and other habitats. Dry heath NVC types include H2 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex minor, H3 Ulex minor – Agrostis curtisii, H4 Ulex gallii – Agrostis curtisii and H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii. The area of heathland has been reduced and fragmented, with about 86% lost since the mid-18th century. However, the Dorset heaths represent some of the biggest and finest remaining areas of lowland heathland in the UK. The dry heath occurs on very infertile soils and is not very diverse botanically, but occasionally some nationally scarce plants occur, such as mossy stonecrop Crassula tillaea and yellow centaury Cicendia filiformis. In places, where heather Calluna vulgaris occurs in mature stands, lichens of the genus Cladonia are very abundant. Uncommon features of the south-eastern heathlands are the localised presence of bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus and the co-existence in some areas of western gorse Ulex gallii and dwarf gorse U. minor. The dry heaths support populations of European importance of several species, including rare butterflies (e.g. silver-studded blue Plebejus argus), grasshoppers and spiders. Among birds, the dry heath is very important for woodlark Lullula arborea, European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, Dartford warbler Sylvia undata and some migrants such as hen harrier Circus cyaneus and Eurasian hobby Falco subbuteo. All six species of native British reptiles, including the Annex IV species sand lizard Lacerta agilis and smooth snake Coronella austriaca, occur within the Dorset Heaths.
Dorset Heaths (Purbeck and Wareham) and Studland Dunes
Dorset and Somerset
This site in southern England has extensive stands of lowland dry heath vegetation. The types include H2 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex minor heath, H3 Ulex minor – Agrostis curtisii heath and some areas of H4 Ulex gallii – Agrostis curtisii heath. The communities are dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris growing in association with bell heather Erica cinerea and one of the dwarf gorse species – dwarf gorse Ulex minor or western gorse U. gallii. The heaths are rich in rare plants, invertebrates, birds and reptiles. Both of the Dorset Heath SACs and the New Forest are in southern England. All three areas are selected because together they contain a high proportion of all the lowland European dry heaths in the UK. There are, however, significant differences in the ecology of the two areas, associated with more oceanic conditions in Dorset and the continuous history of grazing in the New Forest.
Eastern Scotland, Highlands and Islands
The Drumochter Hills provides an example of European dry heaths in the central Scottish Highlands, and represents heaths developed in the cool and less oceanic climate of the central Highlands. The main types of heath represented are H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath, the most extensive type, and H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa heath. The site completes the east–west geographical range of sites in this part of the the Highlands. The Moine schist rocks are mildly base-rich and give rise to more fertile soils than the granite of the Cairngorms or the quartzite of Beinn a’Ghlo. Red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus numbers are high, and Drumochter is the best example of a high-altitude Highland grouse moor where the extensive Calluna-dominated heaths are managed by small-patch burning. The site has some of the best examples of late-lie Vaccinium – Deschampsia heaths at the upper limit of dry heath, with the rare blue heath Phyllodoce caerulea, which is confined to this site and nearby Ben Alder and Aonach Beag. Locally where there is flushing the Calluna heaths are herb-rich. Small areas of the western H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heath are also represented.
East Devon Pebblebed Heaths
The East Devon Pebblebed Heaths in south-west England include extensive areas of lowland European dry heaths. This site has representative examples of H4 Ulex gallii – Agrostis curtisii heath, characterised by the presence of heather Calluna vulgaris, bell heather Erica cinerea, western gorse Ulex gallii, bristle bent Agrostis curtisii, purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea, cross-leaved heath E. tetralix and tormentil Potentilla erecta. The presence of plants such as cross-leaved heath illustrates the more oceanic nature of these heathlands, as this species is typical of wet heath in the more continental parts of the UK.
The Mourne Mountains contain by far the largest area of European dry heaths in Northern Ireland. This is mostly of the Calluna – Erica cinerea type (equivalent to H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea heath). The dominance of bell heather Erica cinerea is a notable feature of the area and is characteristic of dry heath in the hyper-oceanic western part of the UK. The site also contains a range of other heath types, including forms with affinities to H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath on the summits and well-developed H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath on the lower slopes.
Devon, Dorset and Somerset
Exmoor is representative of upland heath in south-west England. The site is notable because it contains extensive areas of H4 Ulex gallii – Agrostis curtisii heath, a type most often found in the lowlands, and H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath, a predominantly upland type, together with areas of H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath. In wetter situations or on peat there can be a high frequency of purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea and cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix, which results in frequent transitions to wet heaths. The associated valley mires support the oceanic species pale butterwort Pinguicula lusitanica and ivy-leaved bellflower Wahlenbergia hederacea. The Exmoor heaths are also important as the largest stronghold for the heath fritillary butterfly Mellicta athalia, associated with sheltered slopes in the transition to woodland. The site holds a small breeding population of merlin Falco columbarius that is the most southerly in the western Palearctic.
Highlands and Islands
The dry heath developed on Foinaven is representative of the more extreme hyper-oceanic north-western kinds of European dry heaths, similar to the Loch Maree Complex. Dry heath is not extensive because of the predominance of wet heath even on relatively steep slopes and the rocky nature of the very steep slopes suitable for dry heath. Burning on the steeper slopes has also restricted the extent of floristically-rich heaths. H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea and H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heath predominate, though a small extent of H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath is represented on upper slopes. The most important feature of the site is the second-largest area of the Atlantic bryophyte-rich Mastigophora woodsii – Herbertus aduncus ssp. hutchinsiae sub-type of H21 Calluna – Vaccinium – Sphagnum heath in the SAC series. This holds good examples of the northern Atlantic hepatic mat with an abundance and wide range of northern-oceanic leafy liverworts. Calluna – Erica heath occurs in the form typical of the north-west with an abundance of woolly fringe-moss Racomitrium lanuginosum, especially at higher altitudes. The dry heaths grade into a wide range of 4060 Alpine and Boreal heaths and to 4010 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix, contributing to outstanding north-western heathland complexes.
Glannau Ynys Gybi/ Holy Island Coast
West Wales and The Valleys
Glannau Ynys Gybi/ Holy Island Coast is the most important site in north Wales for maritime forms of European dry heaths. The main NVC types are H7 Calluna vulgaris – Scilla verna heath and H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath. The dry heathland is associated with small areas of wet heath and forms part of a complete zonation from maritime grassland through maritime heath to inland heath to inland heath with bracken Pteridium aquilinum to bramble Rubus fruticosus scrub. The heath is an important locus for spotted rock-rose Tuberaria guttata.
North Eastern Scotland
Glen Tanar supports, adjacent to and above the native 91C0 Caledonian forest, extensive stands of dry and wet heath, and smaller areas of 7130 blanket bog. The dry heath comprises representative examples of the main European dry heath communities of north-east Scotland, i.e. H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath and H16 Calluna vulgaris – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi heath. There are also transitions to heath communities more typical of western Scotland, including both H10 Calluna vulgaris-Erica cinerea heath and H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heath. Species occurring here which are associated with dry heaths in north-east Scotland include petty whin Genista anglica, intermediate wintergreen Pyrola media, and interrupted clubmoss Lycopodium annotinum. Transitions to more alpine heaths are also present, mainly at higher altitude.
Godrevy Head to St Agnes
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
The dry heathland in this site represents typical examples of wind-pruned, ‘waved’ H4 Ulex gallii – Agrostis curtisii and H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath, with some maritime features. Several noteworthy species occur in the site, including bristle bent Agrostis curtisii, red-flowered kidney vetch Anthyllis vulneraria var. coccinea, Portland spurge Euphorbia portlandica and hairy greenweed Genista pilosa. Scattered areas of 4020 Temperate Atlantic wet heaths with Erica ciliaris and Erica tetralix also occur.
Gower Commons/ Tiroedd Comin Gŵyr
Gower Commons represents lowland European dry heaths in south Wales. The dry heath is mostly referable to NVC type H4 Ulex gallii – Agrostis curtisii heath, with subsidiary amounts of H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath, and occurs as part of a mosaic with wet heath, acidic mire, bracken Pteridium aquilinum, acid grassland and purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea pasture. Bristle bent Agrostis curtisii is close to its northernmost limit in Great Britain at this site.
Great Orme's Head/ Pen y Gogarth
West Wales and The Valleys
This north Wales site is the finest example of limestone heath in the UK. The majority of this rare and unusual vegetation is characterised by a short sward in which heather Calluna vulgaris and bell heather Erica cinerea occur in an intimate mixture with a rich assemblage of calcicolous grasses and herbs, such as meadow oat-grass Helictotrichon pratense and dropwort Filipendula vulgaris. Other types of dry heath present include various forms of H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath. There are outstanding zoned sequences of limestone grassland and heath communities and these are associated with a wide range of other habitats, including limestone cliff, scree and a small area of 8240 Limestone pavements.
Northumberland and Tyne and Wear
At a little under 400 m altitude, Harbottle Moors is a relatively low-lying example of upland European dry heath. Situated on Carboniferous rocks, the heathland community is dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris with some crowberry Empetrum nigrum, bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus and bracken Pteridium aquilinum. Some areas are relatively species-rich, with up to six different dwarf shrub species being found. This may suggest a fairly un-intensive management history with regard to grazing and burning.
Isle of Wight Downs
Hampshire and Isle of Wight
This site comprises tracts of 6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) together with areas of dry heath belonging to NVC type H2 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex minor heath. The dry heath supports small breeding populations of Dartford warbler Sylvia undata and a wide range of invertebrates and plants. There are also some stands of the rare chalk heath (not defined by the NVC), with features intermediate between CG2 Festuca ovina – Avenula pratensis grassland and Calluna – Ulex heath. Heathland on deep gravel overlying chalk is an unusual biological feature in the UK.
Lake District High Fells
The Lake District High Fells complex is representative of European dry heaths in north-west England. The site comprises of acidic rocks, predominantly of the Borrowdale Volcanic Series and Skiddaw Slates. Dry heath occurs throughout the site, and it is very extensive on a number of component SSSI such as Buttermere Fells, Skiddaw Group, Armboth Fells and to a lesser extent Pillar and Ennerdale Fells. Smaller areas are found throughout the other sites. The principal NVC types present is H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath, however at higher altitudes the subalpine H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa heath is present. There are good transitions to 4060 Alpine and Boreal heaths and grasslands on many sites. Smaller amounts of H9 Calluna vulgaris – Deschampsia flexuosa and H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea heath and H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heath are found at Scafell Pikes and Pillar and Ennerdale Fells. Heather Calluna vulgaris and locally bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus are the dominant species present. Associated species include cowberry V. vitis-idaea, and locally bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi and crowberry Empetrum nigrum. Pillar and Ennerdale Fells is bryophyte-rich with a number of oceanic species present including Anastrepta orcadensis, Herbertus aduncus, Bazzania tricrenata, Lepidozia pearsonii and Ptilidium ciliare in higher altitude dry heath. Dwarf juniper Juniperus communis ssp. nana is found in some of the heaths on Buttermere Fells.
Loch Maree Complex
Highlands and Islands
Beinn Eighe, Torridon Forest and Beinn Alligin have extensive and highly representative examples of hyper-oceanic European dry heaths characteristic of the north-west Highlands. The main NVC types represented are H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea heath and H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heath. These include the most extensive and best-developed areas of moist Atlantic (oceanic) bryophyte-rich heaths in the UK, supporting bryophyte species of restricted world distribution, for example Herbertus borealis and Mastigophora woodsii. These heaths are still relatively undisturbed and in good condition, although less extensive than formerly, owing to burning in more accessible areas. There are also extensive heaths of a drier hyper-oceanic type dominated by bell heather Erica cinerea, representative of the development of this habitat type at higher altitude, where there are transitions to 4060 Alpine and Boreal heaths.
West Wales and The Valleys
Upland European dry heath at Migneint–Arenig–Dduallt is predominantly referable to NVC type H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath. Locally at higher altitudes this shows the effects of wind-pruning, and is lichen-rich in places. Other forms of heath present include H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa heath, H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heath on damp north- to north-east facing cliffs, and H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath at lower altitudes. The Calluna – Vaccinium – Sphagnum heath supports the Red Data Book liverwort Gymnocolea acutiloba.
Minsmere to Walberswick Heaths and Marshes
Lowland European dry heaths occupy an extensive area of this site on the east coast of England, which is at the extreme easterly range of heath development in the UK. The heathland is predominantly NVC type H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath, usually more characteristic of western parts of the UK. This type is dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris, western gorse Ulex gallii and bell heather Erica cinerea.
This site has one of the largest extents of European dry heath and is the best example of extensive managed Calluna-dominated heath in the Southern Uplands. The main kind of heath represented is H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath and there is a small representation of H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa heath and H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heath. The heaths are mainly species-poor and typical of the acid but moderately base-rich rocks of the Southern Uplands. Along with the extensive 7130 Blanket bogs, the heaths form a good example of a southern Scottish grouse moor with Calluna-rich vegetation managed by small-patch burning. There are high numbers of red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus and other moorland birds, and mountain hares Lepus timidus are also well-represented, giving the best example of associated moorland fauna in southern Scotland.
Muir of Dinnet
North Eastern Scotland
This site in the Dee valley, Scotland, is set in a complex area of morainic landforms and granite hills that supports a wide variety of habitats, including extensive European dry heaths. The heath community is mainly H16 Calluna vulgaris – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi heath, which is largely confined to north-east Scotland. The local, species-rich type, H16a Pyrola media – Lathyrus montanus sub-community is well-represented, with species such as intermediate wintergreen Pyrola intermedia, petty whin Genista anglica and bitter vetch Lathyrus linifolius. Mountain everlasting Antennaria dioica and stone bramble Rubus saxatilis also occur. Small areas of wet heath are also present around the margins of kettle holes, which support 7120 Degraded raised bog and fen vegetation.
Highlands and Islands
North Fetlar represents species-rich forms of maritime H7 Calluna vulgaris – Scilla verna and upland H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea heaths at the northern limit of their range in the UK. The species-rich Thymus praecox – Carex pulicaris sub-type of Calluna – Erica heath (H10d) is especially well-developed and extensive on base-rich serpentine rock. The combined extent of the maritime and upland species-rich heath is the largest within the SAC series but not as rich in associated flora and invertebrates as related heaths on Rum. Oceanic-northern species-poor forms of Calluna – Erica heath with abundant woolly fringe-moss Racomitrium lanuginosum, unusually developed at low altitude in the harsh climate, are also well-represented.
North Pennine Moors
Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, Tees Valley and Durham
The North Pennine Moors (along with the North York Moors) hold much of the upland heathland of northern England. At higher altitudes and to the wetter west and north of the site complex, the heaths grade into extensive areas of 7130 blanket bogs. The most abundant heath communities are H9 Calluna vulgaris – Deschampsia flexuosa heath and H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath. There are also examples of H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa, H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea and H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heaths.
North West Pembrokeshire Commons/ Comins Gogledd Orllewin Sir Benfro
West Wales and The Valleys
North West Pembrokeshire Commons support an important area of European dry heath which consists predominantly of humid H4 Ulex gallii – Agrostis curtisii heath but also with smaller amounts of dry H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath. The humid heath is an atypical form from that described in the NVC in that bristle bent Agrostis curtisii is absent, but in all other respects the heath conforms to the NVC description, and is the westernmost example of this vegetation type in Wales. The heath forms part of a set of excellent transitions between dry and humid heath to wet heath, various forms of fen meadow vegetation and other habitats. Notable species associated with the heath include pale dog-violet Viola lactea and yellow centaury Cicendia filiformis.
North York Moors
North Yorkshire, Tees Valley and Durham
This site in north-east Yorkshire within the North York Moors National Park contains the largest continuous tract of upland heather moorland in England. Dry heath covers over half the site and forms the main vegetation type on the western, southern and central moors where the soil is free-draining and has only a thin peat layer. The principal NVC type present is H9 Calluna vulgaris – Deschampsia flexuosa, with some H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea heath on well-drained areas throughout the site, and large areas of H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath on steeper slopes.
West Wales and The Valleys
Rhinog is representative of upland European dry heaths in Wales. On shady slopes, the site contains what is considered to be the best development of H21 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus – Sphagnum capillifolium heath outside Scotland. Other NVC types represented include H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii, H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea, and H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heaths.
Highlands and Islands
Rum has examples of European dry heaths typical of the Inner Hebrides but is particularly noted for the presence of species-rich heath on base-rich soils. A large extent of the local, species-rich form of H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea heath, Thymus praecox – Carex pulicaris sub-community (H10d), occurs on steep, southerly-facing slopes on ultra-basic rocks. The associated flora includes a number of northern and arctic-alpine species, such as mountain everlasting Antennaria dioica, viviparous sheep’s-fescue Festuca vivipara, alpine meadow-rue Thalictrum alpinum, alpine bistort Persicaria vivipara and alpine saw-wort Saussurea alpina. The associated invertebrate fauna contains large populations of rare and local burnet moths. This northern form of species-rich heath complements that on Great Orme’s Head in Wales, which has a species-rich heath of a much more southern floristic character, overlying limestone. Other kinds of dry heath on Rum are typical of north-west Scotland. They include species-poor H10 Calluna – Erica heath and H21 Calluna – Vaccinium – Sphagnum heath, including some of the Atlantic bryophyte-rich forms of the latter.
Northumberland and Tyne and Wear
Habitat occurrence description not yet available.
Skipwith Common is one of the only two extensive areas of open heathland remaining in the Vale of York, the other being Strensall Common. The dry heath element is an example of H9 Calluna vulgaris – Deschampsia flexuosa heath dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris. The area has entomological and ornithological importance, with nearly 80 species of birds recorded, including European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus.
Slieve Gullion is one of the largest expanses of European dry heath in Northern Ireland. The site contains a number of dry heath communities, reflecting the wide range of environmental conditions. The most extensive community is dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris and has affinities to both H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea heath and H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath. On the lower slopes, there is a natural transition from upland communities to a mosaic of lowland grassland and heath, in which Calluna is associated with western gorse Ulex gallii and bell heather Erica cinerea. This community is equivalent to H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath. A number of plants that are scarce in Northern Ireland have been recorded. These include cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea on the upper slopes, and U. gallii, which is associated with the lowland heath.
Highlands and Islands
European dry heaths habitat is represented in Scotland by eight heathland NVC types. Slochd supports a good example of one of these, the NVC community H16 Calluna vulgaris–Arctostaphylos uva-ursi heath. The H16 community is a characteristic heath of north-east Scotland and is usually developed at moderate altitudes on a variety of freely-drained, acid soils with base-poor parent material. Although not large by the standards of sites selected for other types of dry heath, Slochd is significant in terms of the extent of the H16 heath present, being one of only nine sites known in Scotland with over 50 ha of this heath community. In addition, H16 heath normally occurs in small, scattered fragments, but at Slochd it occurs in a more or less contiguous block. Typical species present at this site include heather Calluna vulgaris, wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa, bell heather Erica cinerea and cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea. Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is most frequent at Slochd where the heather is shortest, particularly on the top of the hill, but it is present on both north- and south-facing slopes throughout the site, which lies between 350 m and 450 m above sea level. As well as A. uva-ursi, the other rather uncommon species recorded on the site are Genista anglica, Juniperus communis, Pyrola media, Trientalis europaea, and the lichen Cladonia rangiferina. These species are not Nationally Scarce, but are regarded as uncommon in Britain.
Although this site is important for its extensive limestone grasslands, some areas on the plateau support dry heath characteristic of acid soils. Both H7 Calluna vulgaris – Scilla verna and H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heaths are represented.
South Pennine Moors
Cheshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire
The site is representative of upland dry heath at the southern end of the Pennine range, the habitat’s most south-easterly upland location in the UK. Dry heath covers extensive areas, occupies the lower slopes of the moors on mineral soils or where peat is thin, and occurs in transitions to acid grassland, wet heath and 7130 blanket bogs. The upland heath of the South Pennines is strongly dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris. Its main NVC types are H9 Calluna vulgaris – Deschampsia flexuosa heath and H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath. More rarely H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath and H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea heath are found. On the higher, more exposed ground H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa heath becomes more prominent. In the cloughs, or valleys, which extend into the heather moorlands, a greater mix of dwarf shrubs can be found together with more lichens and mosses. The moors support a rich invertebrate fauna, especially moths, and important bird assemblages.
St David's / Ty Ddewi
West Wales and The Valleys
The European dry heaths of St David’s are represented by NVC type H7 Calluna vulgaris – Scilla verna maritime heath and further inland by H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath. The heathland occurs as part of a mosaic of maritime grassland, wind-pruned blackthorn Prunus spinosa scrub, and gorse Ulex europaeus scrub. The heathland supports populations of the nationally scarce chives Allium schoenoprasum and pale dog-violet Viola lactea, and also the Red Data Book species hairy greenweed Genista pilosa.
Strensall Common, with Skipwith Common, is one of only two extensive areas of open heathland remaining in the Vale of York. There is a complex mosaic of 4010 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix and dry heath elements. The H9 Calluna vulgaris – Deschampsia flexuosa dry heath is noted for petty whin Genista anglica and bird’s-foot Ornithopus perpusillus.
Stromness Heaths and Coast
Highlands and Islands
Stromness Heaths is an example of H7 Calluna vulgaris – Scilla verna heath that is subject to conditions of extreme maritime exposure. It is the largest area of the distinctive northern lichen-rich maritime European dry heaths in the UK. The abundance and growth forms of the lichens in this community are better developed than in other known sites in the UK. There are seaward transitions to maritime grasslands, and inland there are transitions to non-maritime H10 Calluna vulgaris – Erica cinerea heath and other habitats.
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
The typical inland, dry heathland on the Lizard is NVC type H4 Ulex gallii – Agrostis curtisii heath, sometimes called ‘short heath’, which differs from other dry heaths in the area which are Annex I type 4040 Dry Atlantic coastal heaths with Erica vagans. These heathlands are dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris and bell heather Erica cinerea. Western gorse Ulex gallii, Cornish heath Erica vagans, cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea and bristle bent Agrostis curtisii can be locally dominant. Good stands of this vegetation type are found on extensive loess deposits.
North Eastern Scotland
The Maim supports an excellent, representative example of NVC community H16 Calluna vulgaris–Arctostaphylos uva-ursi heath. This is one of the eight heathland NVC types that together represent the European dry heaths Annex I habitat in Scotland. The H16 community is a characteristic heath type of north-east Scotland and The Maim, on Deeside, is representative of a local stronghold in south Grampian.
The H16 heath at The Maim is developed on freely-drained soils, apparently derived from granite with obscure outcrops of basic rocks, within an altitudinal range of 430-570 metres. It occurs mainly, but not exclusively, on steep west-facing slopes, and forms one of the largest extents of H16 heath at a single location in Scotland. In addition, H16 heath often occurs in small, scattered fragments, but at The Maim it occurs in a more or less contiguous area. Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is typically abundant but only locally rivals heather Calluna vulgaris, which is the dominant species. Bell heather Erica cinerea, cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea, and wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa are all very widespread within the area. Intermediate wintergreen Pyrola media is also quite scattered and locally frequent in the more species-rich areas. Other species represented include bitter vetch Lathyrus linifolius, slender St John’s wort Hypericum pulchrum, alpine lady’s-mantle Alchemilla alpina, common bird’s-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus and wood anemone Anemone nemorosa. Serrated wintergreen Orthilia secunda also occurs. The most widespread species indicative of base-enrichment are thyme Thymus polytrichus and flea sedge Carex pulicaris. In some grassy patches within the species-rich area along the road these calcicoles are very locally accompanied by quaking grass Briza media and alpine cinquefoil Potentilla crantzii. The heath also supports five species of clubmoss, including the rare interrupted clubmoss Lycopodium annotinum, and the very rare Diphasiastrum complanatum ssp. issleri. Cladonia lichens are well represented, particularly the bushy species of the Annex V subgenus Cladina at higher altitudes in transitions to subalpine heath, also marked by the occurrence of Cetraria islandica.
The New Forest
Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area, Hampshire and Isle of Wight
The New Forest represents European dry heaths in southern England and is the largest area of lowland heathland in the UK. It is particularly important for the diversity of its habitats and the range of rare and scarce species which it supports. The New Forest is unusual because of its long history of grazing in a traditional fashion by ponies and cattle. The dry heaths of the New Forest are of the H2 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex minor heath type, and H3 Ulex minor – Agrostis curtisii heath is found on damper areas. There are a wide range of transitions between dry heath and wet heath, Molinia grassland, fen, acid grassland and various types of scrub and woodland. Both the New Forest and the two Dorset Heath SACs are in southern England. All three areas are selected because together they contain a high proportion of all the lowland European dry heaths in the UK. There are, however, significant differences in the ecology of the two areas, associated with more oceanic conditions in Dorset and the continuous history of grazing in the New Forest.
The Stiperstones and The Hollies
Shropshire and Staffordshire
This site in central Britain is an example of European dry heaths that contains features transitional between lowland heathland and upland heather moorland. The most extensive vegetation type present is H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus dry heath, which is characteristic of the uplands. South-facing slopes support stands of H8 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex gallii heath, a predominantly lowland vegetation community of south-west Britain. The heathland of the Stiperstones is in excellent condition because it is managed by a programme of rotational, controlled winter burning and cutting.
Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham
Surrey, East and West Sussex
This south-east England site contains a series of large fragments of once-continuous heathland. It is selected as a key representative of NVC type H2 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex minor dry heathland. This heath type has a marked south-eastern and southern distribution. There are transitions to wet heath and valley mire, scrub, woodland and acid grassland, including types rich in annual plants. The European dry heaths support an important assemblage of animal species, including numerous rare and local invertebrate species, European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, Dartford warbler Sylvia undata, sand lizard Lacerta agilis and smooth snake Coronella austriaca.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight
Woolmer Forest contains the largest and most diverse area of lowland heathland in Hampshire, outside the New Forest, representing a transition between this and the Surrey heaths. Dry heaths in Woolmer Forest include examples of NVC type H1b Calluna vulgaris – Festuca ovina heath, Hypogymnia physodes – Cladonia impexa sub-community, dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris and Cladonia lichens. Most of the dry heath is H2 Calluna vulgaris – Ulex minor, characterised by dwarf gorse Ulex minor. Woolmer Forest is the only site in Britain that supports all six native reptiles (including the Annex IV species sand lizard Lacerta agilis and smooth snake Coronella austriaca) and all six native amphibians (including 1166 great crested newt Triturus cristatus). It also supports an outstanding invertebrate fauna and bird assemblage, including European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, wood lark Lullula arborea, Dartford warbler Sylvia undata, Eurasian hobby Falco subbuteo, hen harrier Circus cyaneus and merlin Falco columbarius.
SACs where this Annex I habitat is a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection
- Asby Complex Cumbria
- Beinn Dearg Highlands and Islands
- Ben Alder and Aonach Beag Highlands and Islands
- Ben Lawers Eastern Scotland
- Ben Nevis Highlands and Islands
- Ben Wyvis Highlands and Islands
- Border Mires, Kielder - Butterburn Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear
- Brecon Beacons/ Bannau Brycheiniog East Wales
- Cadair Idris West Wales and The Valleys
- Caenlochan Eastern Scotland, North Eastern Scotland
- Carrine Common Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
- Cernydd Carmel West Wales and The Valleys
- Coedydd Derw a Safleoedd Ystlumod Meirion/ Meirionnydd Oakwoods and Bat Sites West Wales and The Valleys
- Coetiroedd Cwm Elan/ Elan Valley Woodlands East Wales
- Craigengar Eastern Scotland, South Western Scotland
- Creag Meagaidh Highlands and Islands
- Cuilcagh Mountain Northern Ireland
- Cwm Doethie - Mynydd Mallaen West Wales and The Valleys
- Durness Highlands and Islands
- Elenydd East Wales, West Wales and The Valleys
- Epping Forest Essex, Outer London
- Eryri/ Snowdonia West Wales and The Valleys
- Fair Isle Highlands and Islands
- Fannich Hills Highlands and Islands
- Glac na Criche Highlands and Islands
- Glen Coe Highlands and Islands
- Green Hill of Strathdon North Eastern Scotland
- Grogwynion West Wales and The Valleys
- Halkyn Mountain/ Mynydd Helygain East Wales
- Hill of Towanreef Highlands and Islands, North Eastern Scotland
- Hoy Highlands and Islands
- Inchnadamph Highlands and Islands
- Inverpolly Highlands and Islands
- Keen of Hamar Highlands and Islands
- Kinloch and Kyleakin Hills Highlands and Islands
- Ladder Hills Highlands and Islands, North Eastern Scotland
- Lendalfoot Hills Complex South Western Scotland
- Limestone Coast of South West Wales/ Arfordir Calchfaen de Orllewin Cymru East Wales, West Wales and The Valleys
- Mendip Limestone Grasslands Dorset and Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area
- Merrick Kells South Western Scotland
- Moffat Hills South Western Scotland
- Mole Gap to Reigate Escarpment Surrey, East and West Sussex
- Moor House - Upper Teesdale Cumbria, Tees Valley and Durham
- Morecambe Bay Pavements Cumbria, Lancashire
- Naddle Forest Cumbria
- Newlyn Downs Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
- Norfolk Valley Fens East Anglia
- North Harris Highlands and Islands
- Peak District Dales Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire
- Pettigoe Plateau Northern Ireland
- Polruan to Polperro Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
- Preseli West Wales and The Valleys
- Rannoch Moor Eastern Scotland, Highlands and Islands
- River Camel Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
- Ronas Hill - North Roe Highlands and Islands
- Roydon Common and Dersingham Bog East Anglia
- Shortheath Common Hampshire and Isle of Wight
- Slieve Beagh Northern Ireland
- South Dartmoor Woods Devon
- Strathglass Complex Highlands and Islands
- Sunart Extra-Regio, Highlands and Islands
- Tintagel-Marsland-Clovelly Coast Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
- Trotternish Ridge Highlands and Islands
- Tulach Hill and Glen Fender Meadows Eastern Scotland
- Usk Bat Sites/ Safleoedd Ystlumod Wysg East Wales, West Wales and The Valleys
- Wimbledon Common Outer London
Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.