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Special Areas of Conservation

Norfolk Valley Fens

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority East Anglia
Centroid* TL937960
Latitude 52.52666667
Longitude 0.856111111
SAC EU Code UK0012892
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 616.48
* 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 Norfolk Valley Fens SAC

General site character

  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (5%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (25%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (30%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (5%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (5%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (30%)

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

  • Norfolk Valley Fens is one of two sites selected in East Anglia, in eastern England, where the main concentration of lowland Alkaline fens occurs. This site comprises a series of valley-head spring-fed fens. Such spring-fed flush fens are very rare in the lowlands. Most of the vegetation at this site is of the small sedge fen type, mainly referable to M13 Schoenus nigricansJuncus subnodulosus mire, but there are transitions to reedswamp and other fen and wet grassland types. The individual fens vary in their structure according to intensity of management and provide a wide range of variation. There is a rich flora associated with these fens, including species such as grass-of-Parnassus Parnassia palustris, common butterwort Pinguicula vulgaris, marsh helleborine Epipactis palustris and narrow-leaved marsh-orchid Dactylorhiza traunsteineri.

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

  • 1014 Narrow-mouthed whorl snail Vertigo angustior

    Norfolk Valley Fens represents narrow-mouthed whorl snail Vertigo angustior in East Anglia. At Flordon Common a strong population occurs in flushed grassland with yellow iris Iris pseudacorus maintained by light grazing.

  • 1016 Desmoulin's whorl snail Vertigo moulinsiana

    Norfolk Valley Fens is one of several sites representing Desmoulin’s whorl snail Vertigo moulinsiana in East Anglia. Within Norfolk Valley Fens there are a number of marginal fens around pingos – pools that formed in hollows left when large blocks of ice melted at the end of the last Ice Age. These are very ancient wetlands and several support strong populations of V. moulinsiana as part of a rich assemblage of Red Data Book and Nationally Scarce species in standing water habitat.

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.