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Special Areas of Conservation

Afon Teifi/ River Teifi

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Wales
Unitary Authority West Wales and The Valleys
Centroid* SN515508
Latitude 52.13583333
Longitude -4.170833333
SAC EU Code UK0012670
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 691.07
* This is the approximate central point of the SAC. In the case of large, linear or composite sites, this may not represent the location where a feature occurs within the SAC.
Location of Afon Teifi/ River Teifi SAC

General site character

  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins) (20%)
  • Salt marshes, Salt pastures, Salt steppes (1.7%)
  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (45.1%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (8.9%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (2.7%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (1.7%)
  • Improved grassland (7.5%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (10.5%)
  • Inland rocks, Screes, Sands, Permanent Snow and ice (1.1%)
  • Other land (including Towns, Villages, Roads, Waste places, Mines, Industrial sites) (0.8%)

Download the Natura 2000 standard data form for this site as submitted to Europe (PDF <100kb)

Note When undertaking an appropriate assessment of impacts at a site, all features of European importance (both primary and non-primary) need to be considered.

Annex I habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site

  • The Teifi in west Wales is a large river flowing over hard rock, with some spectacular gorges in the lower section. It is mainly mesotrophic but also has oligotrophic sections in the upper reaches, and represents an outstanding example of a sub-type 3 river with water-crowfoot Ranunculus vegetation in western Britain. The river has a spatey flow regime, and in-stream vegetation is dominated by stream water-crowfoot Ranunculus penicillatus ssp. penicillatus, water-starworts Callitriche hamulata and C. obtusangula and the aquatic moss Fontinalis squamosa in a diverse macrophyte community characteristic of oligo-mesotrophic base-poor rocks. A small amount of R. penicillatus ssp. pseudofluitans is present where one tributary flows over base-rich rocks. The river is also noteworthy for an unusually low-gradient section flowing through Cors Caron, a large area of 7110 Active raised bog that is an SAC in its own right.

Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site

  • 1096 Brook lamprey Lampetra planeri

    The Teifi is a predominantly mesotrophic river in west Wales supporting a large population of brook lamprey Lampetra planeri. A mixture of habitat and substrate types provides the combination of spawning gravels adjacent to silt beds that are favoured by this and other lamprey species. A large number of tributaries have been included in the SAC; these are thought to be important for lampreys in the Teifi because the main channel is prone to severe floods that may result in washout of smaller ammocoetes.

  • 1099 River lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis

    The Teifi is a large catchment of high conservation value in west Wales. It contains a healthy population of river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis. The semi-natural channel containing a mixture of substrates and in-stream features provides excellent habitat for juvenile lampreys.

  • 1106 Atlantic salmon Salmo salar

    The Teifi is a medium-sized mesotrophic river system in west Wales. In 1999 the salmon Salmo salar rod catch in the Teifi was the third-largest in Wales, and the system has not experienced the steep decline in stock numbers seen in many other rivers in the area. This is likely to reflect the high quality of the catchment, with a semi-natural channel largely unaffected by poor water quality or artificial barriers to migration. However, in common with many other Welsh rivers, acidification in the upper reaches is a cause for concern. In common with many other rivers in west Wales, grilse are the main stock component. There is a small traditional coracle fishery that exploits the salmon and sea trout Salmo trutta trutta.

  • 1163 Bullhead Cottus gobio

    The Teifi represents bullhead Cottus gobio in west Wales. Water quality is generally good, and the diversity of semi-natural habitat and predominance of stony substrates provides excellent bullhead habitat throughout much of the catchment. Environment Agency electrofishing data shows this species to be widespread throughout the system. Bullheads show marked differences in growth and longevity between upland and lowland streams, and the Teifi includes sections representing both types of habitat.

  • 1355 Otter Lutra lutra

    The Teifi in west Wales holds otter Lutra lutra throughout much of its catchment. The river has suitable resting and breeding sites along its length. Evidence from surveys and sightings suggest the tidal reach is being increasingly used by otters.

  • 1831 Floating water-plantain Luronium natans

    The Teifi is a mixed habitat supporting floating water-plantain Luronium natans at the western margins of its range in the UK. This species has been recorded in the nutrient-poor standing waters of the Teifi pools in the headwaters of the river. It has also been recorded in a moderately nutrient-rich stretch of the river immediately downstream of Cors Caron.

Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

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