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Special Areas of Conservation

Avon Gorge Woodlands

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area
Centroid* ST560741
Latitude 51.46388889
Longitude -2.633611111
SAC EU Code UK0012734
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 151.07
* 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 Avon Gorge Woodlands SAC

General site character

  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (4%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (4%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (2%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (70%)
  • Coniferous woodland (5%)
  • Mixed woodland (5%)
  • Inland rocks, Screes, Sands, Permanent Snow and ice (10%)

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

  • Avon Gorge is representative of Tilio-Acerion forests in south-west England on the limestone cliffs and screes of a large river gorge. It is important because of the high concentration of small-leaved lime Tilia cordata, compared with other sites in the region, the presence of rare whitebeams Sorbus spp., including two unique to the Avon Gorge (S. bristoliensis and S. wilmottiana), and other uncommon plants, such as green hellebore Helleborus viridis. Other characteristic species include soft shield-fern Polystichum setiferum and hart’s-tongue Phyllitis scolopendrium. Species-rich transitions to scrub and grasslands are associated with the woodland. Small groves of yew Taxus baccata also occur on some of the stonier situations.

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

  • Not Applicable

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.