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Special Areas of Conservation

Ashdown Forest

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority Surrey, East and West Sussex
Centroid* TQ451306
Latitude 51.05583333
Longitude 0.070555556
SAC EU Code UK0030080
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 2715.88
* 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 Ashdown Forest SAC

General site character

  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (60%)
  • Mixed woodland (40%)

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

  • Ashdown Forest contains one of the largest single continuous blocks of lowland heath in south-east England, with both 4030 European dry heaths and, in a larger proportion, wet heath. The M16 Erica tetralixSphagnum compactum wet heath element provides suitable conditions for several species of bog-mosses Sphagnum spp., bog asphodel Narthecium ossifragum, deergrass Trichophorum cespitosum, common cotton-grass Eriophorum angustifolium, marsh gentian Gentiana pneumonanthe and marsh clubmoss Lycopodiella inundata. The site supports important assemblages of beetles, dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies, including the nationally rare silver-studded blue Plebejus argus, and birds of European importance, such as European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, Dartford warbler Sylvia undata and Eurasian hobby Falco subbuteo.

  • The dry heath in Ashdown Forest is an extensive example of the south-eastern H2 Calluna vulgarisUlex minor community. This vegetation type is dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris, bell heather Erica cinerea and dwarf gorse Ulex minor, with transitions to other habitats. It supports important lichen assemblages, including species such as Pycnothelia papillaria. This site supports the most inland remaining population of hairy greenweed Genista pilosa in Britain.

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

  • 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.