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Special Areas of Conservation

Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes and Gibraltar Point

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority Lincolnshire
Centroid* TF480906
Latitude 53.39111111
Longitude 0.225833333
SAC EU Code UK0030270
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 967.65
* 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 Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes and Gibraltar Point SAC

General site character

  • Salt marshes, Salt pastures, Salt steppes (35%)
  • Coastal sand dunes, Sand beaches, Machair (63%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (2%)

Download the 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

  • The dune system on the composite site Saltfleetby–Theddlethorpe Dunes and Gibraltar Point contains good examples of Shifting dunes within a complex site that exhibits a range of dune types. At this site the Ammophila-dominated dunes are associated with lyme-grass Leymus arenarius and sand sedge Carex arenaria. These shifting dunes are part of a successional transition with 2130 Fixed dunes with herbaceous vegetation and 2160 Dunes with Hippophae rhamnoides.

  • Within this dune complex on the east coast of England there are extensive areas of fixed dune vegetation within largely intact geomorphologically-active systems, with representation of early successional stages on the seaward side, and more stable areas. The lime-rich dunes support a rich and diverse flora, dominated in places by red fescue Festuca rubra and with unusual species including pyramidal orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis, bee orchid Orchis apifera, sea-holly Eryngium maritimum, lesser meadow-rue Thalictrum minus and sea campion Silene maritima. The fixed dunes are part of a successional transition, and the rapidly-accreting dunes on the seaward sand bars and shingle banks make this an important site for research into the processes of coastal development.

  • This site supports a good example of Dunes with Hippophae rhamnoides in the main part of its natural range in the UK. This habitat develops on dune areas and is present in a range of successional stages from early colonisation to mature scrub associated with other species such as elder Sambucus nigra, hawthorn Crataegus monogyna and ivy Hedera helix, typically associated with an understorey of ruderal species. These stands of scrub are important for both migratory and breeding birds.

  • The Humid dune slacks at this site are part of a successional transition between a range of dune features, and some have developed from saltmarsh to freshwater habitats after becoming isolated from tidal inundation by sand deposition. There is a range of different communities present, many of which are species-rich. The species present depend on the wetness of the slack, its location within the system and the management history. Some of the drier slacks support a very wide range of species; this has been encouraged by management. The wetter slacks often have more permanent standing water and are composed of stands of sedges and rushes.

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

  • 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.