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Special Areas of Conservation

Gower Commons/ Tiroedd Comin Gŵyr

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Wales
Unitary Authority East Wales
Centroid* SS497900
Latitude 51.5889
Longitude -4.1697
SAC EU Code UK0012685
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 1775.29
* 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 Gower Commons/ Tiroedd Comin Gŵyr SAC

General site character

  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (0.1%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (15.4%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (75.2%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (0.7%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (5.3%)
  • Improved grassland (2.5%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (0.7%)
  • Other land (including Towns, Villages, Roads, Waste places, Mines, Industrial sites) (0.1%)

Download the 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

  • This south Wales site supports several extensive tracts of lowland vegetation of NVC type M15 Scirpus cespitosusErica tetralix wet heath. There are well-developed transitions to stands of humid and dry heath and to various forms of soligenous and topogenous mire, as well as to woodland, scrub, and bracken Pteridium aquilinum. The site includes strong populations of a number of western species, including whorled caraway Carum verticillatum and the Annex II butterfly 1065 Marsh fritillary Euphydryas aurinia.

  • Gower Commons represents lowland European dry heaths in south Wales. The dry heath is mostly referable to NVC type H4 Ulex galliiAgrostis curtisii heath, with subsidiary amounts of H8 Calluna vulgarisUlex 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.

  • At Gower Commons, stands of M24 Molinia caeruleaCirsium dissectum fen-meadow are set in a heathland context. Ericaceous floristic components are well-developed, and transitions to wet and humid heath, and to acid valley mire, are clearly displayed. This habitat type is best represented on Fairwood Common and Welsh Moor, with further significant examples on several of the other Gower Commons. The nationally scarce soft-leaved sedge Carex montana and geographically restricted whorled caraway Carum verticillatum occur in the Molinia meadows habitat at this site.

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

  • Not Applicable

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

  • 1044 Southern damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale

    Gower Commons, supporting small populations at two localities, represents southern damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale in south Wales.

  • 1065 Marsh fritillary butterfly Euphydryas (Eurodryas, Hypodryas) aurinia

    This is a cluster of at least five large sub-populations in a small area within the south-west Wales stronghold of marsh fritillary Euphydryas aurinia. This cluster of sites represents the species in south Wales, and recent survey work has shown that this population constitutes the second most important area for the species in Wales.

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

  • Not Applicable

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