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Special Areas of Conservation

Hastings Cliffs

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority Surrey, East and West Sussex
Centroid* TQ866111
Latitude 50.86861111
Longitude 0.652222222
SAC EU Code UK0030165
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 182.47
* 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 Hastings Cliffs SAC

General site character

  • Coastal sand dunes, Sand beaches, Machair (1%)
  • Shingle, Sea cliffs, Islets (30%)
  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (5%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (2%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (13%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (8%)
  • Improved grassland (10%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (25%)
  • Mixed woodland (1%)
  • Inland rocks, Screes, Sands, Permanent Snow and ice (5%)

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

  • Hastings Cliffs are an area of actively eroding soft cliff on the south coast of England. They include the most southerly exposures of the lower Hastings Beds. The site contains three valleys cut into the strata, which support woodland and scrub habitats with an unusual ‘Atlantic’ bryophyte flora. Closer to the sea the maritime influence stunts the trees, but other bryophytes become important here, with one species, Lophocolea fragrans, at its only south-east England locality. Maritime scrub and coastal heathland are found closer to the cliff edge, with grassland supporting maritime species such as thrift Armeria maritima. The clay cliff slopes are eroding and support a range of habitats from bare ground and flushes to maritime grassland and scrub, reflecting the successional development of vegetation following cliff-falls.

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.