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Special Areas of Conservation


Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority Kent, Surrey, East and West Sussex
Centroid* TR075175
Latitude 50.9189
Longitude 0.9528
SAC EU Code UK0013059
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 3241.43
* 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 Dungeness SAC

General site character

  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins) (20%)
  • Salt marshes, Salt pastures, Salt steppes (1%)
  • Coastal sand dunes, Sand beaches, Machair (2%)
  • Shingle, Sea cliffs, Islets (64%)
  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (2%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (10%)
  • Coniferous woodland (1%)

Download the Standard Data Form for this site (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

  • The Dungeness foreland has a very extensive and well-developed shoreline, although with sparse vegetation and in places some human disturbance. It is one of two representatives of Annual vegetation of drift lines on the south coast of England. The strandline community on this site comprises Babington’s orache Atriplex glabriuscula, which occurs mostly on the accreting eastern shoreline, although it is also present on the eroding southern shoreline.

  • Dungeness is the UK’s largest shingle structure and represents the habitat type on the south-east coast of England. The total area of exposed shingle covers some 1,600 ha, though the extent of the buried shingle ridges is much greater. Despite considerable disturbance and destruction of the surface shingle, the site retains very large areas of intact parallel ridges with characteristic zonation of vegetation. It still has the most diverse and most extensive examples of stable vegetated shingle in Europe, including the best representation of scrub on shingle, notably prostrate forms of broom Cytisus scoparius and blackthorn Prunus spinosa. A feature of the site, thought to be unique in the UK, is the small depressions formed within the shingle structure, which support fen and open-water communities.

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

  • 1166 Great crested newt Triturus cristatus

    Dungeness in south-east England has the largest shingle expanse in Europe and contains a large number of waterbodies within its 2,000 ha. This extensive site hosts a large and viable great crested newt Triturus cristatus population in a range of natural and anthropogenic habitats. These include natural pools and those resulting from gravel extraction and other activities. Terrestrial habitat of importance for feeding and shelter is provided by a range of open shingle vegetation with scrub in the vicinity of some of the waterbodies.

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.