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Special Areas of Conservation

Magilligan

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Northern Ireland
Unitary Authority Northern Ireland
Centroid* C686371
Latitude 55.17611111
Longitude -6.923888889
SAC EU Code UK0016613
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 1059.62
* 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 Magilligan SAC

General site character

  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins) (24.7%)
  • Coastal sand dunes, Sand beaches, Machair (75.3%)

Download the Natura 2000 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

  • Magilligan in Northern Ireland is one of the largest calcareous dune systems in the UK, with a well-developed and largely undisturbed system of ridges and slacks. Fixed dune vegetation with red fescue Festuca rubra and lady’s bedstraw Galium verum is very extensive and dominates most of the site. Much of the grassland is tall, with downy oat-grass Helictotrichon pubescens prominent, but the more open areas have wild thyme Thymus polytrichus and are notable for an abundance of the moss Rhytidium rugosum.

  • Magilligan is one of the largest calcareous dune systems in the UK. It has an extensive and well-developed series of dune slacks which contain virtually all of the dune slack vegetation in Northern Ireland. Most of the slack vegetation is dominated by creeping willow Salix repens ssp. argentea, although more open humid slacks and older hollows filled with mire vegetation also occur.

  • Magilligan in Northern Ireland is one of the largest dune systems in the UK. It has an extensive and well-developed series of Humid dune slacks, which contain virtually all of the dune slack vegetation in Northern Ireland. The dunes are of an acidic character. A wide range of slack vegetation occurs on the site, including wet open dune slacks at an early successional stage, slacks dominated by creeping willow Salix repens ssp. argentea and older hollows filled with mire vegetation. The hydrology of the site is little modified and the structure and function of the site are therefore well-conserved.

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

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.