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Special Areas of Conservation

Peak District Dales

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire
Centroid* SK142550
Latitude 53.09138889
Longitude -1.787777778
SAC EU Code UK0019859
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 2336.91
* 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 Peak District Dales SAC

General site character

  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (0.3%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (0.1%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (4%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (43.7%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (13%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (37.1%)
  • Inland rocks, Screes, Sands, Permanent Snow and ice (1.8%)

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

  • Peak District Dales is one of the most extensive surviving areas in England of CG2 Festuca ovinaAvenula pratensis grassland. Grasslands at this site range from hard-grazed short turf through to tall herb-rich vegetation, with transitions through to calcareous scrub and 9180 Tilio-Acerion forests – a diversity of structural types unparalleled in the UK. There is also a great physical diversity due to rock outcrops, cliffs, screes and a variety of slope gradients and aspects. In contrast to examples of FestucaAvenula grassland on chalk to the south, these grasslands are less at risk from the threat of invasion by upright brome Bromopsis erecta and tor-grass Brachypodium pinnatum, which are at the edge of their range here and have limited vigour. The relatively cold oceanic nature of the climate means that there is enrichment with northern floristic elements, such as limestone bedstraw Galium sterneri and globeflower Trollius europaeus.

  • Representing the north-central part of its UK range, this site in the English Midlands contains a large area of Tilio-Acerion, dominated by ash Fraxinus excelsior. Locally, sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus is abundant. The Dales provide good examples of woodland-scrub-grassland transitions, with associated rich invertebrate populations and plant communities. Among the uncommon plants present in the woods are mezereon Daphne mezereum and green hellebore Helleborus viridis, as well as whitebeams Sorbus spp. on the crags.

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

  • 1092 White-clawed (or Atlantic stream) crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes

    The River Dove represents white-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes in a high-quality, upland limestone river, in the north-east of the species’ UK range.

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.