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Special Areas of Conservation


Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Wales
Unitary Authority East Wales, West Wales and The Valleys
Centroid* SN824704
Latitude 52.3192
Longitude -3.7267
SAC EU Code UK0012928
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 8609.1
* 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 Elenydd SAC

General site character

  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (0.7%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (58%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (6.2%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (16.1%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (18.2%)
  • Inland rocks, Screes, Sands, Permanent Snow and ice (0.5%)
  • Other land (including Towns, Villages, Roads, Waste places, Mines, Industrial sites) (0.3%)

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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

  • Heavy metals have been extracted from the Ystwyth Valley for over 1000 years. At Cwm Ystwyth this activity has left extensive areas of rock outcrop, scree, spoil-heaps and abandoned shafts, adits and buildings variously affected by heavy metals available for colonisation by heavy metal-tolerant plant species. Lichens and bryophytes are a notable component of the developing flora and include a number of scarce species such as Vezdaea cobria, Lecanora handelii, Gyalidea subscutellaris and Ditrichum plumbicola.

  • 7130 Blanket bogs (* if active bog)  * Priority feature

    Elenydd comprises the largest tract of blanket mire within the central Wales uplands. Considerable areas of the habitat display signs of modification, with impoverished vegetation dominated by grasses and with reduced amounts of dwarf shrubs and widespread bog-mosses Sphagnum spp. Areas of good quality mire are typically fragmented by species-poor vegetation dominated by purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea. However, there are extensive stands of M18 Erica tetralixSphagnum papillosum mire that contain locally abundant bog-rosemary Andromeda polifolia, as well as areas of mire in which heather Calluna vulgaris and hare’s-tail cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum are dominant. Areas of hummock and hollow surface patterning are found locally.

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

  • 1831 Floating water-plantain Luronium natans

    The remote Elenydd lakes are amongst the best upland oligotrophic lakes in Wales and have been relatively untouched by abstraction and water-level modification. Their populations of floating water-plantain Luronium natans show a highly natural submerged distribution, in association with a wide range of associated species, and are an apparently ancient refuge site secure from the intensification which has afflicted lowland populations.

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.