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Special Areas of Conservation

Morfa Harlech a Morfa Dyffryn

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Wales
Unitary Authority West Wales and The Valleys
Centroid* SH567328
Latitude 52.87333333
Longitude -4.129166667
SAC EU Code UK0030049
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 1059.96
* 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 Morfa Harlech a Morfa Dyffryn SAC

General site character

  • Salt marshes, Salt pastures, Salt steppes (30%)
  • Coastal sand dunes, Sand beaches, Machair (66%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (1%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (2%)
  • Mixed woodland (1%)

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

  • Morfa Harlech a Morfa Dyffryn (Morfa Harlech and Morfa Dyffryn) is one of two north Wales sites selected. Embryonic shifting dunes occur as long narrow zones mainly in the Morfa Harlech part of the complex. Both lyme-grass Leymus arenarius and sand couch Elytrigia juncea shifting dune vegetation have been recorded, but the latter is by far the more extensive of the two.

  • Morfa Harlech a Morfa Dyffryn (Morfa Harlech and Morfa Dyffryn) is one of two sites selected to represent Shifting dunes along the shoreline with Ammophila arenaria in north Wales. It lies at the junction of two major marine sediment transport systems, and as a result provides an excellent example of active accretion. Shifting dunes are therefore extensive, being particularly well-developed at Morfa Dyffryn. Notable species recorded here include hound’s-tongue Cynoglossum officinale and sand cat’s-tail Phleum arenarium.

  • Both Morfa Harlech and Morfa Dyffryn have comparatively large areas of dunes with Salix repens ssp. argentea and Yorkshire-fog Holcus lanatus, especially in some of the older, more inland parts of the system. In addition, there are two other dune slack communities that support creeping willow.

  • Morfa Harlech a Morfa Dyffryn (Morfa Harlech and Morfa Dyffryn) is one of two sites representative of dune slack vegetation in north Wales. Examples of three different humid dune slack communities have been recorded within the complex. The dune slack vegetation with silverweed Potentilla anserina and common sedge Carex nigra is particularly well-developed.

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

  • 1395 Petalwort Petalophyllum ralfsii

    Petalwort Petalophyllum ralfsii has been recorded in dune slacks in the two dune systems at this site; it is most frequent at Morfa Dyffryn.

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.