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Special Areas of Conservation

Butser Hill

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority Hampshire and Isle of Wight
Centroid* SU716197
Latitude 50.97166667
Longitude -0.98
SAC EU Code UK0030103
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 237.36
* 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 Butser Hill SAC

General site character

  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (0.1%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (70%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (5%)
  • Coniferous woodland (15%)
  • Mixed woodland (9.9%)

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

  • Butser Hill is situated on the east Hampshire chalk which forms part of the South Downs. Much of the site consists of CG2 Festuca ovinaAvenula pratense grassland. The site has a varied range of slope gradients and aspects which has a strong influence on the vegetation composition. A particular feature of the site is its lower plant assemblage. It has the richest terricolous lichen flora of any chalk grassland site in England, and also supports the distinctive Scapanietum asperae or southern hepatic mat association of leafy liverworts and mosses on north-facing chalk slopes. This association is very rare in the UK and Butser Hill supports the largest known example. The site exhibits various transitions between semi-natural dry grassland, chalk heath, mixed scrub and 91J0 Taxus baccata woods.

  • 91J0 Taxus baccata woods of the British Isles  * Priority feature

    The combes of the south-east flank of Butser Hill support dense yew Taxus baccata woodland in association with scrub and chalk grassland. The yew is regenerating into the grassland and shows the classic interaction of these habitats in relation to grazing pressure.

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

  • 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.