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Special Areas of Conservation

Mendip Limestone Grasslands

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority Dorset and Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area
Centroid* ST401557
Latitude 51.29666667
Longitude -2.859166667
SAC EU Code UK0030203
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 415.24
* 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 Mendip Limestone Grasslands SAC

General site character

  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (45%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (38%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (10%)
  • Inland rocks, Screes, Sands, Permanent Snow and ice (7%)

Download the Standard Data Form for this site (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

  • This site comprises coastal and inland sections of the Carboniferous Limestone outcrops of the Mendips. The coastal headland and inland hills support the largest area of CG1 Festuca ovinaCarlina vulgaris grassland in England, including two sub-types (CG1a Carex humilis and CG1c Trinia glauca sub-communities) known from no other site in the UK. Areas of short-turf CG2 Festuca ovinaAvenula pratensis grassland also occur inland. The site is exceptional in that it supports a number of rare and scarce vascular plants typical of the oceanic southern temperate and Mediterranean elements of the British flora. These include white rock-rose Helianthemum apenninum, Somerset hair-grass Koeleria vallesiana and honewort Trinia glauca. Transitions to limestone heath (4030 European dry heaths) situated on flatter terrain also occur.

Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

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.