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Special Areas of Conservation

Winterton - Horsey Dunes

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority East Anglia
Centroid* TG491204
Latitude 52.72333333
Longitude 1.689722222
SAC EU Code UK0013043
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 426.96
* 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 Winterton - Horsey Dunes SAC

General site character

  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins) (11%)
  • Coastal sand dunes, Sand beaches, Machair (46%)
  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (0.2%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (12%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (13.8%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (15%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (2%)

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

  • Winterton – Horsey Dunes is the only significant area of dune heath on the east coast of England and also includes areas of acidic dune grassland as an associated acidic habitat. The contrast with the nearby calcareous and species-rich dunes of north Norfolk is marked. The Atlantic decalcified fixed dunes (Calluno-Ulicetea) vegetation is characteristic of dune heath in an eastern locality with low rainfall. The drought-resistant grey hair-grass Corynephorus canescens is a characteristic species of the open dry dune soils.

  • The slacks within Winterton – Horsey Dunes are chiefly of interest because they occur on an extremely base-poor dune system on the dry coast of East Anglia in eastern England. Because of their acidic soils, the dunes support swamp and mire communities, in addition to small areas of typical dune slack vegetation characterised by creeping willow Salix repens ssp. argentea with Calliergon cuspidatum and Yorkshire-fog Holcus lanatus. As a result they represent an extreme of the geographical range and ecological variation of Humid dune slacks within the UK.

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.